FOUR DAYS after the president of the Senate reprimanded a Government member for using broken English in that chamber, the speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday allowed South West St Elizabeth Member of Parliament (MP) Hugh Buchanan to pay tribute to late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez in Spanish.
The standing orders of the House of Representatives dictates that English is the only language permissible during sittings.
When the House paid tribute to Chávez yesterday Buchanan, who studied in Spanish-speaking Cuba, often relied on Spanish to reach his audience, which included diplomats in the gallery.
At one stage, West Kingston MP Desmond McKenzie urged him to communicate so that all could understand.
"Speak English nuh man," McKenzie shouted from his seat.
South West St Catherine MP Everald Warmington joined in, saying: "It is against the Standing Orders".
Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips at one point quipped "this is not the Senate," in clear reference to a ruling by Senate President the Rev Stanley Redwood last week that only English should be spoken in the Chamber.
Redwood had stopped Justice Minister Mark Golding in his tracks as he used patois to thank bondholders and workers for their role in ensuring that Jamaica fulfils prior actions requirements for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.