Edmond Campbell, Senior News Coordinator
A heated debate is expected during today's sitting of the House of Representatives as Parliament puts the spotlight on a censure motion moved by Government back-bencher Donald Buchanan against Jamaica Labour party (JLP) Member of Parliament for North East St. Andrew, Karl Samuda.
The motion, which accused Samuda of "deliberately mis-leading" the House, could result in one of several sanctions including expulsion, suspension or referral to the Privileges Committee of Parliament to determine an action against the member, if the resolution is carried.
Quoting from Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, clerk to the Houses of Parliament, Heather Cooke, said a member who deliberately misled the House is deemed to be in contempt of Parliament.
Contempt and expulsion
May is an authority on parliamentary procedures and practice, and his book is widely used in the Westminster system of Ggovernment. It lists contempt among the offences that could lead to expulsion.
At the centre of the controversy is the claim by Buchanan that Samuda misled the House when he declared that Port Authority of Jamaica Chairman Noel Hylton had submitted a report to Cabinet and former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, on the Sandals White-house project.
Samuda, before and after the Motion, stated that he was not worried about plans to censure him in Gordon House.
Leader of Government Business, Dr. Peter Phillips, demanded an apology from the Opposition MP, noting that his statement on the alleged report was erroneous.
However, Opposition Leader Bruce Golding said no apology would be forthcoming, challenging the Government side to take whatever action it deemed appropriate.