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'I uphold the law'

Published:Friday | March 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Novelette Forde, account executive at The Gleaner Company, presents a cheque to Gregory Wint, national director of the SOS Children's Village Jamaica, in support of the Haiti earthquake relief fund. The effort, spearheaded by Sophia Davis-Johnson, display coordinator in The Gleaner's Advertising Department, was aided by the employees of the company. SOS Children's Village, Haiti, houses approximately 400 children. -Contributed

Warmington says Speaker turned Parliament into a joke

South West St Catherine Member of Parliament Everald Warmington says he believes Speaker Delroy Chuck made a mockery of Parliament by the way in which he presided over the business of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

"Delroy is my personal friend, but he made a sham of the situation," Warmington told The Gleaner yesterday. "Him take the House to make a joke. I should ask for him to be censured."

On Wednesday, Warmington stormed out of the House of Representatives after Chuck declined his call for a divide on the report of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ).

Bitter protest

Chuck said the convention is that reports from the ECJ are accepted unanimously by Parliament but Warmington protested bitterly. He referred to the Standing Orders of the House which state that once a member calls for a divide, the clerk must take that divide.

"He is totally inconsistent and making a joke of the people's Parliament," Warmington said while claiming Chuck has been inconsistent in his rulings and has been ignoring the rules of the House.

Ironically, Warmington has been rapped several times by Chuck for disrupting the House and for speaking while other members are on the floor. However, he insists that he is no loose cannon in Gordon House.

"This is one who upholds the law. I may approach it in an unorthodox way, but this is one guy who upholds the rules, law and Constitution every step of the way," Warmington declared. "I don't allow it to be breached and I don't breach it under any condition at all."

Dangerous precedent

Chuck, along with Leader of Government Business Andrew Holness and opposition MP Dr Peter Phillips, said it would be a dangerous precedent if Parliament were to vote on the reports of the ECJ.

However, Warmington, who is also junior minister for water and housing, does not subscribe to the principle of upholding such a convention.

"When I went to Parliament, nobody gave me any paper say 'convention'. They gave me a book that says 'Standing Orders of the House of Representatives' and that supersedes everything," he said.

He added: "I don't know about any convention. Anybody who go out and make any private agreement or have any private understanding, it's their business. I am not abiding by no such thing."