Former Senior Minister in the Dr. Denzil Douglas led Administration and now social and political commentator Attorney Dwyer Astaphan has come out in support of the actions taken by the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Micheal Perkins and his handling of the Motion of No Confidence brought by the Opposition against him at the most recent sitting of the St.Kitts-Nevis Assembly on Friday Janaury 20th 2017.
In an interview with WINN FM’s Ken Richards the Operation Rescue Talk Show Host and Co-Founder Astaphan declared that “If a motion is defective, the Speaker does have the authority to reject it or to have it cured. The Speaker exercised that authority and he explained why he did so, I do not believe that in doing so he actually debated the motion, I think he was trying to explain his reasoning for rejecting the motion. Of course, different individuals occupying the seat of the Speaker will have different approaches and while I do not for a moment deny that the Speaker is operating with the best of intentions, nor do I wish to ascribe bad intentions to anybody else, the Speaker also had it within his authority to inform the member who had put the motion, that was Dr. Douglas for No. 6, that he saw some defects it in and call him in and give him the opportunity to cure those defects prior to the sitting of the House and try to have it cured so that it would be brought in an acceptable manner and debated.”
Astaphan also commented on the notion that the Speake should’e recused himself. He told WINN FM “A notice of motion is sent to the clerk, who passes it to the Speaker, should the Speaker recuse himself from determining whether the notice oo the motion itself is in order? I could understand the Speaker recusing himself when the motion is being heard so that the Deputy Speaker takes his seat, but I don’t know if there is any transgression by the Speaker for having examined the notice of motion and the motion. I don’t think that there was any problem with the notice but the content of the motion itself, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with what the Speaker did insofar as finding it to be defected. I would not say that it is improper, I don’t think it is improper for him to examine a motion. I would have to do some research on it a correct myself if the research so indicates but the motion was not being debated and notwithstanding the fact that Dr Douglas sought to make the argument that it was being debated by the Speaker. In my opinion the Speaker was pointing to reasons that he thought the motion was out of order, including improper motives, which is not acceptable.”
Astaphan concluded “I believe that the Speaker was in his authority to rule on the validity of the motion and the debate of the motion will be another matter”