Opposition members criticize Deputy Speaker of the House


A number of serious complaints, about the manner in which the proceedings of the last sitting of the House of Assembly were handled were communicated to the media by the Opposition at a press conference that was held on 5 September.
The press conference, which was held at Maria’s by the Sea was attended by Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie, Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser and Second District Representative, Hon. Alvin Christopher.
At the top of the list of concerns outlined by the Opposition was the alleged illegal adjournment of the Eighth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second House of Assembly on August 14th. According to the Legislators, the House was adjourned sine die without a quorum, after an attempt by the Opposition to enter a letter that communicated their unhappiness about an issue that occurred during the proceeding into the record.
The Opposition appeared most unhappy with Deputy Speaker, Hon. Delores Christopher’s explanation that the matter should be raised in the presence of Speaker, Hon. Ingrid Moses, and said that this should not have been since the Deputy Speaker was holding the post at the time.
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. O’Neal told the media that the issue involved Hon. Christopher’s attempt to enter the letter into the record during the Other Business section of the House. He said: “The main point I have with what the member for Second was told is that the Deputy Speaker was not up to it, she should not have told the member t….You are Speaker once you sit in that chair…”
In explaining the decision to meet the press, Hon. Fraser declared: “We are asking that the proceeding of the House of Assembly does not become a mockery. We are not going to win in the House of Assembly; so we are taking it to the court of public opinion; because the people are equally fed up with the current proceeding of the House of Assembly.”
Second District Representative, Hon. Christopher pointed out that the then Acting Speaker had the rights of the chair. In relation to the illegal adjournment complain, Hon. Christopher stated that reconvening the House of Assembly is not practical, but he stated that the House has reserved power to reflect accurately what transpired in the last sitting.
Hon. Fahie announced that the Opposition’s issue is not one that is based on who is right, but what is right; and he contended that the laws are being twisted based on who Government wants to look right and who Government want to look wrong: “Here you have wrong on top of wrong,” he said.
Public Opinion Heard
The Opposition’s need to have the matter weighed in the public court was granted, as ZBVI Radio rebroadcasted the press conference moments before the Speak Out BVI radio program and host Doug Wheatley invited residents to give their opinion on what was discussed at the press conference.
During the show, one caller announced that in his opinion the happenings described by the Opposition appeared to be planned. He said: “What is going on is a well orchestrated plan by the government to get the Opposition off its game, and I am happy they are standing up the way they’re. It is well orchestrated, but I think the Opposition has the upper hand.”
A female caller who was very brief in her submission said: “The Opposition, when they were there, did what they wanted to do…They need to put their self together and get out of there.”
Another caller said that he agreed with what was said about the Speaker at the press conference. He stated: “I saw the UK House on YouTube…I never saw the Speaker give a speech at the end of any presentation.”
Meanwhile, another caller appeared very passionate about his views and stated: “I agree with the Government. I think they are doing their best to move the country forward…One thing I notice with this Opposition is that they always criticize. ..You must find some time to agree, you must find something that’s going right, but they always criticize…stop criticizing everything and find some solutions.”