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Chaos in Parliament as Opposition resists move to split St Catherine Parish Council

Published:Wednesday | November 9, 2016 | 11:27 PM
Peter Phillips ... We are trampling on dangerous grounds.

The House of Representatives descended into chaos this afternoon forcing the House Speaker to rise from his seat to regain control as Opposition members tried to block the tabling of a bill.

The Bill, the Local Governance (Amendment) Act, 2016, would split the Portmore municipality from the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.

The Opposition has been insisting that there should first be consultation with the people of Portmore.

It also says there should be no change until the Electoral Commission of Jamaica indicates its agreement with the proposal.


IN PHOTO: Desmond McKenzie

But the Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie wants the Government to go ahead with the Bill.

In Parliament today, he asked for the first reading of the Bill but could get no further in the process as a robust opposition fought back.

 

Minister of Local Government, Desmond McKenzie

At one stage the House Speaker Pearnel Charles instructed the Clerk to the Houses of Parliament to read the Bill.


IN PHOTO: Pearnel Charles

As she attempted to do so, there was more robust intervention from Opposition Member Peter Phillips, much to the annoyance of the clerk, who rolled her eyes in frustration:

 

Opposition MP, Dr. Peter Phillips

As the rowdy behaviour intensified, Charles would rise from his seat to ask for a suspension of the House while leaders consult on a way forward.

 

Speaker of the House, Pearnel Charles.

A decision was eventually made that the matter go before a committee.