Tensions flare as Speaker says use of recording devices by MP’s not allowed

The Opposition's point man on Finance Irfaan Ali during his budget presentation on Monday
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP)  Irfaan Ali during his budget presentation on Monday

Tensions in the National Assembly have now settled following members arguing over whether or not the Parliamentary live stream began when the first speaker Irfaan Ali was making his presentation to the National Assembly.

Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland told opposition Member of Parliament for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Priya Manickchand that recording from the gallery was not permitted but in response she said that Government’s media agency DPI was not carrying favorable coverage towards the Opposition hence her efforts to record a live stream of Ali’s speech with her mobile phone.

She was deemed out of order.

Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland

Followings the Speaker’s upbraid for the use of recording devices, which he said was against the rules and practices of the House, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira pointed out that the live stream of the Parliamentary proceedings was interrupted when Ali was giving his speech  but it was up and working when the time came for Business Minister Dominic Gaskin to make his presentation.

The Speaker however, advised the PPP member that the live stream started from the beginning and ordered her to take her seat when she continued arguing her case.

After the brief display of tension, Gaskin was allowed to make his presentation.

In a post on social media Manickchand said that she is not aware of any standing order that prohibits live streaming.

“What is the wrong I did? If you look at the video you will see that it was when Mr Ali was speaking of corruption and mismanagement in the Education Ministry, that Nicolette Henry and Simona Broome’s complained…one would have thought these two young women would be of the generation and mindset that would want to have the people’s business made as available to the people as possible…Free speech includes not only speaking but communicating those views and ideas to whosoever wishes to listen” Manickchand posited.

Ali started the Parliamentary Budget Debates for 2019 on Monday where he declared that Finance Minister Winston Jordan is providing inflated estimates aimed at providing Guyanese with an “imaginary good life.”



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