This afternoon’s Budget Debate kicked off with the Speaker requesting the Members to elect a Deputy Speaker. There was a long drawn out silence leaving no doubt that the much debated issue would once again result with no different outcome as other sessions in the House.
As a result of this failure the Speaker admonished members and put her foot down by taking action never before seen in Parliament. She ordered, “Since you have yet again been unable to appoint a Deputy Speaker, and since this budget debate, as usual, will be an extended sitting, I hereby order that no member of this House will go to pee unless I go.”
Grumbling and choopsing could be heard throughout the chamber as parliamentarians expressed their displeasure with the ruling. Leader of the Opposition rose in dissent but Madam Speaker was having none of it.
She barked, “If I am to remain here throughout this debate without the luxury of a break, then you all will suffer with me. No one shall go to pee unless I go. Therefore we all go together. That is my order and it is final!”
The Prime Minister rose on a point of order but was quickly dismissed when he was ordered to remain seated.
Hon. Lenard Montoute who had earlier sent in an excuse for not being able to attend the House sitting this afternoon when contacted chuckled, “I knew something like that was going to happen so I stayed away. I drank lots of juice and knew that I would not be able to hold it for long. Someone gave me a sipsyon last night that the Speaker was planning some drastic action like this.”
The Prime Minister rose at 6 PM requesting the House be suspended one hour for dinner. The request was put to the members for a vote, the ayes had it.
Although the reason given was for dinner, many believe it was a bluff for the PM to go to the bathroom himself as dinner breaks during the budget debate are very often only half an hour in length.
There were lots of chuckles and snickering in the public gallery.
Inside sources at the House of Assembly report a long line outside the lone bathroom.
A photo of the chamber shows all seats vacated.
Perhaps a Deputy Speaker will be elected soon.