When parliament sits on Monday, members of the United Workers Party (UWP) are expected to stand in solidarity outside the House of Assembly in silent protest against what they say is the Speaker of the House’s prevention of its questions intended for ministers of government in parliament, according to UWP Political Leader Ron Green.
The party raised this concern recently in a statement, claiming that the questions they submitted to Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights were deemed out of order and not supported by the rules of parliament. These questions were meant for the upcoming parliament sitting.
In their statement, the UWP accused Boyd-Knights of continuing a crusade to assist the Roosevelt Skerrit government in withholding information from the general public.
The publication stated that the Speaker had blocked questions to Skerrit seeking answers regarding: his frequent travels out of State since December of last year, his public announcement of a chartered plane at Melville Hall Airport directly from the United States and his receipt of the now notorious e-mail from Anthony Astaphan regarding electoral reform, and to Minister Ian Douglas about the ownership and shareholding with respect to lands at Crompton Point in the Wesley/Woodford Hill area.
Today, Green told Dominica News Online (DNO) that it was time to stand up for the truth.
“Well we’re calling on the people of Dominica; we’re calling on Dominicans as a whole, no matter what political stripe they may be, blue, green, red, yellow, whatever colour they may be, that the time has come for them to stand up for truth, stand up for information that supposed to be coming from our parliament,” he said.
“We are a democratic country, a parliaments is one of the main, if the not the main institutions in the country and it is through the parliament that we are able to access information regarding the workings of our government. We ask questions, we expect to have answers to those questions,” Green told DNO.
He pointed out that five of the eight questions submitted for parliament for this particular session had been ruled out of order by the speaker. “It is time that the speaker stop protecting the government of Skerrit and the Labour Party and allow the ministers to answer the questions that are being asked,” he stated.
He further called on persons to participate peacefully: “This is part of a responsibility of a democratic society, so we’re calling Dominicans to come around the parliament in a peaceful manner just by their presence to demonstrate their concerns for the fact that the parliament is not allowing those questions to be answered and a number of other questions and issues that are important in the country also remain unresolved.”
The UWP parliamentarians will be at parliament during this protest.
“We are attending parliament,” he assured.