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House Speaker reiterates she will be impartial, but her office must be respected

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2023. 12:01 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes, Belmopan: Opening this morning’s meeting of the House of Representatives, Speaker Valerie Woods referred to the verbal attack on her office and person ventilated at the August 11 meeting by Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow.

“Members are free to disagree, and criticize vociferously; however, such must be able to be communicated in a manner befitting of the respect for the office and for the institution. It is about the respect for the rules; it is about respect for the institution of Parliament, an institution for which much work must be done to regain the public’s trust in its management and conduct,” the Speaker told the wider house.

As she sees it, her role is “to rule with clarity of thinking and not to be distracted by the politics or be taken down the alleyway of unparliamentary, indecorous and undignified behavior unbecoming of the position of a parliamentarian and the expectations that come with such a weighty position.”

The Speaker recommitted to following the rules of parliamentary practice and presiding impartially – without fear or favor to either side.

The report against Barrow from the House Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee was ordered to lie on the table. Barrow, for his part, has refused to apologize.

 

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