House Speaker warns MPs about criticising rulings in media

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Speaker Manzoor Nadir

House Speaker, Mazoor Nadir on Thursday cautioned Members of Parliament that there is a well laid out procedure which must be followed if there is any question in relation to a ruling or rulings by the Speaker.

Before the commencement of the 2020 Budget Debates this morning, Speaker Nadir, who himself has been a Member of Parliament for well over two decades, asserted that “criticism of rulings of the Speaker is not allowed.”

He cited Standing Order 46 which speaks to this; adding, “If there is a question with respect to a ruling of the Speaker, there is a procedure to follow and that ruling could be fully ventilated in the House, and not in the media.”

The Speaker also had the cause to remind Members of his statement two days ago in which he urged that an offensive social media post by an Opposition Member in relation to persons being food poisoned be taken down.

“That post is still up on social media and on his page and I am asking the Whips to speak to their members.”

“I expect that after this announcement with respect to that social media post, there will be positive action on behalf of the Member,” the Speaker urged.

On Tuesday, Alliance For Change (AFC) Parliamentarian Sherod Duncan posted to Facebook that: “Several APNU+AFC MPs may have been food poisoned by food prepared by Parliament’s caterer(s). Developing story.”

But Speaker Nadir explained that other parliamentarians as well as parliamentary staff have reported digestion issues after consuming the meals which were prepared by the caterers contracted by the Parliament Office.

According to the Speaker, breaches of privileges is a serious offence “and while we do exercise fairness, patience and impartiality, we have to be guided by the rules that exist”.

Speaker Nadir explained that he is also guided by “one of the most respected Clerks in the Commonwealth, supported by Parliamentary staff whom I know have been serving Parliament and the people for decades”.