Fri | Dec 8, 2023

New Speaker must be elected

Published:Friday | September 22, 2023 | 12:09 AM

WHEN THE House of Representatives meets on Tuesday, a new Speaker must be elected.

This follows the resignation of Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, who is facing eight charges for making a false statement in her statutory declarations. The charges concern a $6-million Mercedes-Benz motor vehicle that was omitted from her declarations from 2015 to 2021.

Dalrymple-Philibert has maintained that she has nothing to hide and that this was “a genuine oversight”.

Section 2(1) of the Standing Orders of the Lower House stipulates that at the first meeting of the House immediately after a general election, or whenever it is necessary for the House to elect a Speaker by reason of a vacancy in the office occurring otherwise, “the clerk shall call upon the House to elect a Speaker”.

Further, Section 2(2) indicates that a member, having first ascertained that the member to be proposed is willing to serve if elected, may, rising in his place and addressing the clerk, propose a member not being a minister or parliamentary secretary as Speaker of the House.

It says that if that proposition is seconded, the clerk, if no other member is suggested, shall declare the member as Speaker of the House.

Section 2(3) notes that if another member, willing to serve if elected, be proposed and seconded, the clerk must propose the question that the member who was first proposed should be the Speaker.

If that proposal is agreed to, the Standing Orders say that the member so chosen shall be Speaker, but if the proposal is negatived, the clerk shall propose a similar question in respect of any other such member who has been proposed and seconded until the question is carried in favour of one of the members so proposed.

It says that no debate shall be allowed upon proposals for filling the office of Speaker.