Wednesday, July 01, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Speaker of the House of Representatives says that while there is no specific standing order or legislative provision concerning what took place in the House last Friday morning, he properly exercised his discretion to remove Senator Patrick Andrews through police from the gallery, after the Senator had interrupted an address by House member Patrick Faber.
In a release issued through the National Assembly office this evening, the Speaker cites S.O. 91 which gives him power to determine how to handle situations not otherwise provided for elsewhere in the Standing Orders and over the conduct of business.
The general rule concerning presence of supporters of either party in the gallery, according to the Speaker, is for those of the opposing side to maintain silence while their opponents speak, and cheer if they like when their side has the floor.
The Legislative Assembly Ordinance (Powers and Privileges) of 1962 does not grant to immunity to members of either House for their actions in the other chamber or even their own; their conduct is governed by the Speaker in the House and the President in the Senate.
The Speaker says that on Friday, after PUP supporters were heard heckling Hon. Faber during his address, he warned those in the gallery, including Senator Andrews, of his rule. When Hon. Faber began to continue his address and the Senator laughed loudly as if to ridicule the statement, which sealed his fate.
Speaker Peyrefitte remarks: “While it can be argued that Senator Andrews was not a stranger in the House in the strictest sense, he was in the very practical sense a stranger, indeed, because there are no special immunities nor privileges attached to a Senator that prevents him from being removed from a House Meeting and no special procedure to remove a Senator during a House Meeting, especially since he was not there under any special invitation from the Speaker.”
Upon giving the warning, the Speaker concludes, Senator Andrews became aware of the rule and by his actions in the Speaker’s view, “chose to disrespect my rule” and earned expulsion. The Speaker does not address whether Andrews will be allowed back in the House at the next meeting or whether he will face any additional sanctions.
© 2015, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.