A heated exchange in Parliament yesterday led to the suspension of Opposition Leader Dr. Godwin Friday for the rest of the day’s proceedings.
The other members on the Opposition bench fully supported their Leader and joined him to leave the Parliament session when he was asked to do so earlier than expected.
The development comes after the Opposition Leader asked the Speaker of the House Rochelle Forde in pursuant to her general powers on standing order 81 in which she controls the proceedings of the House for her indulgence to address a matter involving Government Senator and Deputy Speaker Ashelle Morgan, along with the Assistant DPP-Karim Nelson and a third person in which an investigation is ongoing in relation to a shooting incident in Diamond where a 67 year old man was shot in his leg over three weeks ago.
To date no one has been arrested and charged in relation to the incident.
The Opposition Leader is of the view that the Senator should step aside until the investigation is completed and he made his position know in Parliament today.
The Speaker of the House told the Opposition Leader that although she has a wide discretion using standing order 41 in conjunction with standing order 81 that discretion is exercise in instances where the rules are silent.
The Speaker reiterated to the Leader of the Opposition that she has already made her decision on the matter not to accede to his request and asked that he take his seat so that they could move on with other matters. This did not go down well for the Opposition Leader.
The Speaker reminded the Opposition Leader and all those in Parliament that she is guided by the rules and procedures however the Opposition Leader responded while he accepted this, the Speaker should also abide by what he said is just and decency in a free and democratic society.
After at least an hour break Parliament resumed with Opposition MP for Central Kingstown St. Clair Leacock making an appeal for the Speaker to revert her decision to suspend the Opposition Leader noting that he should be listened to in the context of the rules.
The Speaker of the House stood her position and says matters of the House will be conducted with the decorum as required of and contemplated by the rules and the expectation of the people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.