May 4, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
Justice Minister blasted the Opposition as outrageous
“We cannot descend to jungle law.”
So declared a strident Justice Minister on his feet in Parliament as he blasted the Opposition.
House Speaker Marissa Dalrymple-Phillibert had this to say inter alia:
We are a court and must respect natural justice. Section 81 of the Standing Orders does not legally obligate me as Speaker to disclose the reasons a member has asked for leave of absence.”
The Speaker was responding to calls from former PNP MP QC Hugh Small, for her to disclose the contents of a letter sent to her in which MP George Wright had requested a leave of absence. There are various reasons why a member may make a request for leave of absence.
Health and related reasons can be the cause for such a request. It is the sole discretion of the Speaker, by House rules, that such a responsibility rests. The Speaker may seek guidance, but in the end it is her call. The Standing Orders gives her the power to so grant such an application for leave of absence from all sides of the House.
What is even most despicable is that the Opposition is aware of the Standing Orders and should not be behaving as if they are strangers to these Orders. They were in power for at least 18 years continuously. So for them to be behaving as if they are ignorant of the Standing Orders is disappointing to say the least.
Let us respect the natural Justice of MP George Wright. He deserves such courtesy like anyone else.
The Central Westmoreland MP who is under a cloud of suspicion has not been identified in any video nor has been charged by the police who have investigated allegations against the said MP Wright and has not found him guilty of any wrong.
Went To Police
In fact the MP volunteered and with his attorney presented themselves at the Freeport Police Station to answer any questions the police may have. They did an extensive interview and the police asked them to politely take away themselves from their offices. Being satisfied that they had no interest in MP George Wright the police have since closed their files. What is all this noise about? We thought that would be the end of the story.
Let us show more confidence in the integrity of the system. Suspicion without solid evidence is not guilt. What is your perspective?
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a Senior Caribbean/International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper