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Speaker: I Reached A Point Where Enough Was Enough

Former House Speaker Dr Kendal Major.

Former House Speaker Dr Kendal Major.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

HOUSE Speaker Dr Kendal Major moved to clarify comments he made last week in Parliament that insinuated that he wanted to be replaced, saying in that moment he had reached a point where enough was enough.

While admitting that his comments during the heated House session fuelled speculation that he was considering leaving the post, Dr Major said he will continue to serve and do his job, adding that in the future “. . .we will see what happens.”

He also responded to criticism of his recent ruling regarding Dr Andre Rollins from Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and Minister of Labour Shane Gibson, saying the remarks were “unfortunate”, “inappropriate” and will bring “ill repute” to his dignity and post.

“My question in response would be, does the House have the confidence in the chair? Then the chair should be accorded every opportunity and respect to do its work. That is how I would prefer to deal with it,” Dr Major said when contacted by The Tribune.

Asked if he believed that parliamentarians respected him as the Speaker, he said generally he thought so.

“I think overall the respect is there. However, you have watched and you see from time to time where, depending on where the decision falls, the chair is often challenged.

“The chair being challenged is one thing, but to publicly utter that the chair was wrong – it is unfortunate, inappropriate and it brings ill repute to the dignity of not only myself but the post of Speaker of the House.”

Concerning speculation that he was considering quitting as House Speaker, Dr Major said: “We all are subject to certain contextual situations and we all have a point in time when enough is enough. I will continue to my job and moving forward, we will see (what happens).”

This is the first time Dr Major has spoken publicly about the issue since he came under fire from senior MPs of his own party when he allowed Dr Rollins to make his budget contribution.

The drama began last Wednesday when Mr Davis put a vote to the floor to abruptly close the Budget debate. This would have cut off all possibility of Dr Rollins being able to make his contribution to the debate.

At first it appeared that Mr Davis was about to make a speech. Dr Rollins said he did not stand earlier because he did not want to disrespect the more senior member.

However, Mr Davis said he was not going to speak and that it was within his right to move for the vote to close the debate because “all of the minority members of the House of Assembly have spoken” and Dr Rollins had intentionally missed his opportunity to speak.

Dr Rollins then accused the government of attempting to stifle freedom of speech and said that they were all afraid of what he had to say.

After about 20 minutes of back and forth with several PLP MPs rising to their feet citing parliamentary rules to block Dr Rollins’ speech, Dr Major decided to take a recess to make a decision.

Nearly 30 minutes later, Dr Major allowed Dr Rollins to make his contribution saying, “his heart would not let him stop a member from speaking.”

During his speech, Dr Rollins attacked the government on many fronts, ending by quitting the governing party.

The next day, Mr Davis criticised Speaker Dr Major’s ruling telling reporters he hoped future Speakers would not follow the precedent that the Speaker had just set.

Mr Davis added that Dr Major had allowed his emotions to influence his decision rather than the rules of the House of Assembly. Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson has also said the Speaker was “obviously wrong” when he made the ruling.

Last week, Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller said he was worried that the Speaker was going to quit his post over the uproar in the House. He said during his 28-year political run, he had never seen so many attempts to undermine the Speaker or a Speaker hinting at the government possibly replacing him.

Comments

duppyVAT 5 years, 3 months ago

Brave, Shane and BJ have a problem with the Speaker ............ the ringleaders of crookedness

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Honestman 5 years, 3 months ago

This trio are morally bankrupt along with many others in this administration. Imagine running scared from a thirty something rookie politician to the extent that they would abort their most important parliamentary contribution of the year just to try and stifle him. The Christie administration has no shame and that will be its legacy!

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Zakary 5 years, 3 months ago

  • Imagine running scared from a thirty something rookie politician to the extent that they would abort their most important parliamentary contribution of the year just to try and stifle him.

You’re right. That’s exactly what it looked like to a lot of us. This government is destroying themselves. I sometimes wonder if they truly realize there are many people watching everything they do and say in parliament.

The speaker definitely made an excellent decision under the pressure of the situation he was in, and quickly realized that the spirit and intent of the house rules were not being kept.

  • However, Mr Davis said he was not going to speak and that it was within his right to move for the vote to close the debate because “all of the minority members of the House of Assembly have spoken” and Dr Rollins had intentionally missed his opportunity to speak.

Sad. There were people who really wanted to hear what he had to say.

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrades da wise Speaker is telling all of we natives that da leadership of PLP has become much unstable.
But the PLP are not alone, frustrations are also at the forefront of the red shirts party even among those who were not naively expecting it would be a piece of leadership renewal cakewalk for Minnis, but never expecting the party faithful to once again be left with no other sensible option than speedily question the results of their votes for Minnis's leadership.
Red shirts smart enough not to bankroll a election run of which the party is presently ill equipped to win, who are unwilling to any longer outright ignore the winnable gift-horse being dangled directly in their faces by this inept don’t give a good-damn PLP Cabinet. Despite Minnis's twice elected at convention by a resounding majority of voting delegates, it is proving be no cakewalk to occupying the prime minister's office.
Regardless, twice electing Minnis is nothing more than going through the motions for a job, but putting it all together in the moment of required leadership leaves few reds willing to go public to admit that while Minnis is a man of solid character and should be thanked for his efforts at preventing the party from following Papa Hubert’s steps into the Cooper’s Town political bone yard, he is not the right leader required to lead the party to victory, come the 2017 General Elections. God help the red shirts, if PM Christie calls a snap general election and its possibility is visible on da horizon, or if a new fresh face appears to take center stage on either the PLP or DNA’s leadership scene.
As of now the 2017 General Elections predictions cannot even begin be painted to canvas. For further red shirts reflection:
And God said after Papa Hubert, "Let there be party darkness.” God too saw Minnis as more light than Loretta and thought that would be good politics for da reds, but now He too must separate the darkness from the prospects light for reds come 2017. – From Da Book Comrade Tal’s Genesis

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Honestman 5 years, 3 months ago

Tal, I agree that the FNM need to seriously review their leadership position but even if Minnis was to lead the party into the next election there are surely not enough gullibles left that would give the PLP another chance in power? If the people of this country vote this bunch of jokers back in come May 2017 then it will be the end of the country as we know it and we will derserve everything that is coming to us.

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Honestman, only fools and horses should be the one's running losing streaks. But come 2017, do feel free to hoof around with Minnis, whilst believing the voters will fall for any red shirt leader is a better vote than their best PLP.

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asiseeit 5 years, 3 months ago

I guess Major is starting to feel used and abused. The only thing one carry's to the grave is their REPUTATION, ask the supposed father of the Nation who by all accounts was just a stink drug dealer, that label will NEVER go away. This government will make many rich in this life but the how of it will stick with them FOREVER, dirty just stays dirty and the truth ALWAYS comes out!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 3 months ago

Major having proclaimed that he has "dun reached da point", now what from here?

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

No lie. I really do like Doctor Major and it is my prayer that he remains Speaker and stay with the PLP. I do think he tries to be fair. But politics is a dirty game, and he may not be able to play dirty. But Rollins knows how to play it well, He had his chance to speak but stayed away from the house and did not explain well. In all fairness he did not deserve the chance to speak.

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Chucky 5 years, 3 months ago

birdiestrachan

When someone incorporates / includes religious dogma in their writings they severely undermine their credibility.

Seriously people, "Prayer" , it's time to put the religious dogmas of the world aside; to realize there is but one life to live, and to finally take responsibility for our own actions in society. There is no god, no afterlife, no judgement that will be forthcoming! What we do today, affects us today, and should be resolved today.

Religion is and always has been man made; has been used to control and manipulate the masses, and is used by some as their "claim" to being holy and upstanding citizens ......blah blah blah. No thinking individual could possibly believe the BS stories, and anyone making the "claim" to be religious and upstanding should be shunned for their obvious lies, hypocritical behaviour, and false claims to being of good nature due to association with the dogmas. in theory anyone who purports to have serious religious convictions would have to live without possessions, without sin, without money or its pursuit, etc etc etc, does anyone no anyone to truly live this way. Nope! They're all fakes, liars and scammers. "Cause God Needs Your Money"

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VDSheep 5 years, 3 months ago

If the member was not present to speak at his appointed time; for whatever reason - and everyone else spoke, and the debate was still active, and he became available to speak on the issue. It is democratically right for the speaker to allow him to speak. He has that right as an elected MP - same as any other MP!

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

It is also good common manners and decency to say why you are unable to attend the house meetings. just suppose ten of them decided they would do what Rollins did. Where would it all end. Rollins the Rude boy knew exactly what he was doing.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 3 months ago

You are right Birdie .............. Doc Rollins played the dirty political game vs Brave, PG and BJ ................. and won!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SP 5 years, 3 months ago

...... We Have All Had More Than Enough Of The PLP......& Please....No More FNM .......

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