Suspension of MP Michael appears to have been orchestrated after a day of provocation, former House Speaker says


REAL NEWS: The suspension of MP Asot Michael appears to have been orchestrated, says D.Gisele Isaac, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, as she commented on the Member’s ejection from the Parliament on Thursday, May 18.

The Lower House voted to suspend the St. Peter MP from the Parliament for three consecutive sittings after he made scathing remarks to House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt, who had ordered  Michael to leave the Chamber.

Michael had argued that the Speaker’s ruling was biased, since a similar order had not been given to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

According to Michael, Browne – engaging in the cross-talk that Watts had forbidden – had imputed improper motives and used insulting language to him on several occasions, contrary to proper parliamentary conduct. However, the Speaker had failed to check Browne, he said.

Sir Gerald then asked the MP to leave the chamber and later called on the sergeant-at-arms to remove him.  It was then that Michael “called out” Sir Gerald, prompting the latter to “name” the member and call on the House to suspend him.

Commenting on the fracas, Isaac says the Speaker failed to adequately fulfill his duty to protect Michael, a minority member, from the aggression of the prime minister.

Michael is an independent member of the Lower House, the first and only one in the history of the Parliament.

Reviewing Michael’s behaviour, Isaac notes that, as Speaker, she had experienced some of the worst behaviour in Parliament – from now Prime Minister Browne.

MP Michael endured a great deal of provocation from the Government bench on Thursday, Isaac says, and as an elected member of the House he should not have been treated in such a way by the Speaker.

She says she was shocked, at one point, when Michael was prevented from speaking, even when he was attempting to continue his debate on a matter.

Isaac says the entire parliamentary proceedings that day seemed to have been about intimidation, and what transpired should not have been allowed to happen.

As a constituent of St. Peter – although she did not vote for Michael –Isaac says he is her parliamentary representative.  And if he has no voice in the House, then the more than 2,000 people who voted for him and the remainder of the constituency will be disenfranchised.

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  1. I had a lot of respect for Speaker Watt at one time but my respect has waned, he’s just another ABLP Lakey.

  2. It is obvious that the speaker of the house had something rolled up his sleeve for Asot Michael and the PM & attorney general took advantage of it because they realized that the scale was tilted in their favor……. On the other hand Asot needs to choose wisely when & where to fight such battles. Jerry, If we are dealing with true democracy let it be a level playing field for all

  3. I do not believe that Asot Michael ‘suspension’ (not done according to the Standing Orders that I got sight of) was orchestrated.

    To my mind, orchestration would mean that the government side or members on the government side met and planned with the speaker and said ‘hey we going to do this’……

    I could be wrong but I do not see that.

    I agree and I am of the opinion that Asot was provoked continuously and he felt that the speaker was being biased towards him and was allowing the continued provocation and he lashed out.


    If that was not done, in my opinion, the ‘suspension’ is not consistent with the Standing Orders that I got sight of.

    If the procedure was wrong, will the Opposition raise this at the next sitting of the House?

    • @Dave – You recall anyone in the opposition saying Nay? I don’t and heard only the agreement. I heard the speaker ask the PM to take back what he said and he did. Look AM walked right into what he got. Someone else from the opposition should have raised the issue.

      • Hey you’re such a ass wipe for ABLP I wonder how your wife sleep next to you smelling of shit.

  4. Well highlighted Ms D Gisele Isaacs, and I would go evèn further and say that the ABLP government is niw a real threat to parliamentary debates and our democracy.

    The last General Election was so so close that they had to come up with something undemocratic that was going to stifle the opposition and parliamentary proceedings – this has obviously been planned.

    Mr Watts has to step down forthwith!

    Antiguans must now be aware that the ABLP’S next unprecedented step could be the PROROGATION of Parliament to halt proceedings when debates or sessions doesn’t go their way.

    I’m in agreement with you Ms Gisele Isaacs, this whole thing has been orchestrated, and will continue in the future.


  5. This is an example of why the UPP is not ready to lead. They were handed an opportunity and they blew it.
    The UPP had been rooting for Asot who makes it clear he is a diehard Labor in spite of all of his travails and tribulations. Asot will never join the UPP, he is willing to sleep in bed with them for he is a political mercenary
    Jerry Watts handed UPP offerer UPP
    When Asot was escorted out of the chambers all UPP and BPM should have walked out behind Asot.
    No question the suspension was orchestrated. The Speaker Giselle Issacs as one of the UPP political strategists should have been prepared for that moment and have a plan.
    At a time when Asot was abused pushed down and thrown out the door; was the moment for UPP to open the door with Asot. The door was wide open not to ask Asot to join the Party but to play a role similar to Trevor Waker. Keep your independence but dance with us.
    Asot is not at risk of losing votes by having an alliance with UPP, no different than Walker is not at risk by being allied with UPP.
    UPP leaving Asot in the cold (outside by himself was a moment squandered).
    Politics is deal-making, and there is nothing wrong with making a deal with your nemesis, so long as you don’t compromise on your core principles.
    UPP and their political strategist have proven to me they are not ready. This was a golden opportunity that fell in their laps and they have squandered it.
    There are so many voters who are bothered by the direction that the Country has taken under Gaston’s leadership who sitting on the fence. Unfortunately, UPP has not demonstrated they do not have what it takes to be better leaders.

    • Point taken on the UPP response/nonresponse. As Louis Farakhan say, “they didn’t have a damn thing to lose but their chance.” The bill was already shoved down their throats anyways. We need a transformation where bills are not passed 9 for and 8 against. We need a 2/3 majority on bills affecting the country; until then PM Browne won’t see the need for bipartisanship, and ruthless behavior will continue witl the non elected Speaker siding with those who gave him the job.

    • Move to the head of the class.. I was saying the same thg..when the question..who opposed” was asked not one person answered…Asot got whipped from both sides…😒😒

    • I absolutely agree 💯%. I wrote a comment yesterday to the UPP telling them how disappointed I was about their inaction. I’m keeping a careful watch on their behaviour. I’m not trying to just exchange red for blue with the same attitude as red. Selfless not Selfish. Show me you’re different.

  6. The speaker is an old, miserable man with too much estrogen and not enough testosterone – More Eggs.
    He is blatantly biased — He should definitely retire.

    Asot shouldn’t have allowed the PM to bait him into an outburst. The PM is a bully, and he thrives on confrontations — That kind of behaviour is of an emotionally disturbed individual. Normal, middle aged people just don’t goat people into fights, verbal or otherwise — People who lacks self control and are uncomfortable within themselves do. The worst thing one can do to this type of personality is to ignore him/her. Someone needs to tell Asot that.

  7. Arguing about the merits of Jerry Watts action is like cussing at the fish market. It’s about political strategy you all. Giselle is saying throwing Asot out was a Jerry Watts and ABLP political strategy.
    In the next three months with Asot the best debater in Parliament thrown out the doors and the seating in Gastons’ favor; watch for the flurry of new legislation that is pushed through Parliament before Asot returns.
    A colossal blunder when UPP did not walk out with Asot. Why would Asot make any arrangement with the UPP to frustrate Gastons program when they did not walk out in support?

  8. UPP has to begin to learn to make Lemonade out of lemons without sugar. “No sugar day”: plant some stevia it’s sweeter than sugar.

  9. Question- is there something that says- if one of the parliamentarians miss three consecutive sittings his seat became vacant? Are we not sure this is that in the making here. Gastón recently mentioned the case between Sugey and Samantha as an increase in his majority, which sounds like he is uncomfortable. His leadership challenge is getting more and more evident. Labour Day his challenger and smart boy had on white and looked like the leader. Gastón open radio station and sound cussy cussy , the liberta ran station is far more professional and of course the chief rocker is in the house.

  10. @Southwell, this is not about UPP. The problem here is with Jerry Watts. Even if UPP had objected, the I’s have it and they would have simply voted to suspend Asot Michael regardless, just as they do with these dangerous legislations, advised by the inept, incompetent, corrupt AG, Cutie Benjamin. How does this translate into “UPP is not ready to govern?” Are you guys so blinded by color or party that you forget what UPP accomplished in ten years? Exactly what can you point to from this current or past ALP administrations that have not brought all kinds of scams and embarrassing debacles to Antigua and Barbuda? ALP does not govern, and this includes VC Bird. Chronicling the corruption, nepotism and scandals, have a look at the book, “The Failings of Governance in Antigua and Barbuda,’ by Douglas Payne. I agree with this article.

  11. @👁️ 👁️ For me does the UPP have a political strategy? Where is the political leadership? What are the proposed policy changes that can capture the imagination of the voters?
    What are their thoughts about physical development? What are their educational policies?
    What are their thoughts about the environment?
    Some will say if UPP puts out policy initiatives Gaston will copy them. Let him copy them. Policy initiatives should include transparency, efficiency, and timely and detailed information.
    Among the biggest gripes is the Gaston giveaway. Each and every week we read Cabinet Notes. Deals are made but no one knows who are the deals being made with. UPP and Trevor should have had a strategy to get Gaston to disclose who are his partners at the Dulcina property in Barbuda. They are letting him get away free without disclosures.
    I smell a rat, but it is the political parties who have to expose the rat. UPP can not win the majority of the seats in Parliament if they do not change course. People are tired of Gaston but they have no confidence in UPP; and that the bottomline.

  12. @Watching: You evidently missed the points I have been making. I have no interest in litigating what Jerry Watt did. He is a bafoon.
    I’m focusing on UPP lost opportunity to rally ant that moment around Asot; then go on a media blitz explaining their move to their supporters.
    What were they to gain by staying on and sitting in Parliament. They did not have the numbers to vote a change of the situation as it unfolded.
    What they had was an opportunity to stand up for fairness by walking out with Asot. In spite of his flaws has proven he is a vote getter and among the best debaters in Parliament. Political alliances are made in Parliamentary democracies around the world. This was a moment handed to UPP by Gaston and Watts. Germany is an example of continued coalition government.
    I totally agree with you with regards to your statement: ALP does not govern, and this includes VC Bird. The corruption, nepotism and scandals destroyed the building of a middle class; and has built a Country of nepo babies, crumb snatchers and favour seekers.
    The ABLP political philosophy practiced for 50 years is “ keep them stupid, poor, and needy.
    So I am hoping that UPP can build leaders and political thinkers, economists, analysts and data scientists, and end our misery.
    I have no love lost for Asot Micheal. Look around the world and observe politicians getting in bed with their archenemies in order to progress towards their goals. That shows political maturity in their ability to build alliances.

  13. What is the reason you are so hellbent on laying this whole debacle at UPP feet? Gaston is threatened by what Asot knows about him. Any opportunity he (Gaston}gets to silence Asot he will take. My grandmother always say every dog has its day and also the chickens will come home to roust. Gaston will not last forever. He is like a two-headed snake.

  14. What is the reason you are so hellbent on laying this whole debacle at UPP feet? Gaston is threatened by what Asot knows about him. Any opportunity he (Gaston}gets to silence Asot he will take. My grandmother always say every dog has its day and also the chickens will come home to roust. Gaston will not last forever. He is like a two-headed snake.

  15. I just can’t believe it is this the same lady that is alleged to show the PM the middle finger was disrupting parliament I can’t believe what I am hearing now this gentleman becomes a saint in their eyes recalling we are going to hound you you will have to answer bunch of hypocrites clips are out there who are these people? Not my vote

  16. Who does the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda say is eligible to be the Speaker in Parliament? Other parliamentary democracies require the Speaker to be a Member of Parliament. Is this the case at present? Only asking as I do not lnow.

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