During the second day of debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure at Parliament April 27th, House Speaker Leonne Theodore-John required a brief time out.
It was minutes before 11 p.m when the Prime Minister Allen Chastanet rose to ask for a [temporary] suspension of proceedings. Member of Parliament for Laborie, Alva Baptiste was in the throes of his contribution.
The Laborie MP and the House eventually yielded to the motion to allow House Speaker Theodore-John her break. Watch below.
The ‘time out’ has attracted scrutiny as the Deputy Speaker post in the House remains vacant. Both sides of the aisles have stubbornly remained mum on electing a Deputy Speaker of the House – a post that has been vacant since 2016. The Opposition mainly points to convention for disallowing its members to take up the Deputy Speakership. Previously, MP for Castries Central and government minister Sarah Flood-Beaubrun resigned from the Deputy Speaker post to run the External Affairs Ministry.
Speaking to HTS News4orce on April 25th, the House Speaker affirmed the need for a Deputy Speaker.
“I want a Deputy Speaker. There needs to be a Deputy Speaker.”