Antigua house speaker given until Today to rescind MP’s suspension

MP Asot Michael being removed from House on May 18, 2023

LOOP: An attorney representing Independent Member of Parliament Asot Michael has given Speaker of the House of Assembly, Sir Gerald Watt, until Thursday to rescind his suspension.

In a legal letter, attorney Hugh Marshall contended that Watt acted outside of the standing orders (SO) when he asked parliamentarians to suspend Michael, the Member of Parliament for the St Peter constituency, for three sittings.

Marshall said the House of Representatives “had no power to make standing orders providing for the suspension of a member and SO 50(7) was, accordingly, unconstitutional, null and void”.

He added that “even if the House did have the power to make rules providing for the suspension of a member, it had no power to make rules providing for the suspension of a member for three or more sittings and SO 50(8) was, accordingly, unconstitutional, null and void”.

Marshall stated the suspension was imposed simply to punish Michael and it did not follow the mandatory procedural steps specified by SO 50(7).

The lawyer highlighted that Watt did not take similar action against his colleagues on the government benches when they engaged in cross talk with Michael, who was forcibly removed from the May 18 sitting for displaying what the speaker termed hooligan behaviour.

The attorney has asked that Watt confirm in writing that he will not prevent Michael from attending upcoming sitting.

“Unless we receive your written confirmation by close of business Thursday 25th May 2023, we will be compelled to commence appropriate legal proceedings to protect the rights of our Client as enshrined in the Constitution,” Marshall added.

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  1. Bird vs Bird

    or ABLP vs ABLP.

    Let dem destroy each other, because they are all a menace to the Antiguan society.

    People FED UP of ALL OF AR U. Soon is not quick enough to get rid a dem

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  3. Asot forget about the title speaker of the house and sue Gerald Watts in his personal capacity.
    That way tax payers will not have to pay for his defense and damages will come from his personal wallet.

  4. Rather interesting development in the Antigua 🇦🇬 parliament, continue to follow the latest as time progresses.

  5. Is this the first a MP got suspended from parliament? The answer is no. I recalled a time when the member for City West was suspended by the former speaker for nearly an entire parliamentary session, his transgression… engaging or joinning with members of the gallery in calling for general elections, this he did before the mace was removed from its place. I remember thinking outloud, WOW!! JUST SO? In a democracy the will of the people is the highest power and should not so callously be overturned.

  6. Very interesting legal opinion. I would like to hear what other learned individuals have to say about that.

  7. I carry no candle for Asot Michael, but It is plain to me that he has been wronged. I do not condone his disrespectful remarks to the Speaker but he is human and he was provoked. No one can deny that.
    What grabs me, in this whole fiasco, is that the Speaker of the House has not demonstrated an even hand in his dealings with Members of the House on both sides, but is arguably partial to the incumbent government.
    His off-the-cuff rulings have frequently been unconstitutional but should not be a surprise to anyone: I distinctly recall his angry outburst, as a much younger politician in the camp of the PLM, saying, “To Hell with the Constitution!” Evidently, he meant it then, as he does now. He is therefore not the best choice in the world for the position of Speaker of the House and that is sad and regretable.

  8. How are these people blood pressure? Must be high unless its all theatrics as most of us believe.

  9. careful them staple dont pop out his gut and blood pressure rise. attention starved. dont threaten suicide this time. UK Crime Agency trigger him stress level

  10. People are not dumb ! The out bursts about political mercenary and other insults to the speaker totally wrong the clip is as plain as day thanks for cameras then the same people that said I am going to hound you you will have to answer now see this gentleman as Saint Peter what a bunch of hypocrites people can be the many threats to lock him up and he is smart to know all of them if I was the PM I would welcome him back to the ABLP and let them look like real fools but that ain’t going to happen Sir Jerry loves a good fight and he certainly got a TKO with this one .

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