The United Progressive Party (UPP) is hoping that Speaker of the
House Sir Gerald Watt will allow a Motion of No Confidence against
him to be placed on the Order Paper at some upcoming meeting of
the Lower House.
Weeks ago, Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle, MP for All Saints East
and St. Luke, signaled his intention to move the motion because of
the Speaker’s recent behaviour.
Sir Gerald is accused of political bias and unfair treatment of
Opposition MPs – in particular, Member for St. Peter Asot Michael,
who, at the last meeting, was suspended for three consecutive
Doubt about Watt’s capabilities is also being expressed by
Opposition members, following the Speaker’s protracted refusal of
the resignation of former MP Kelvin “Shugy ” Simon.
Weeks later, just ahead of a court hearing on a related matter, Sir
Gerald admitted that the resignation had been tendered in
accordance with the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.
Parliament reportedly is set to convene on July 25, according to last
week’s Cabinet Notes, and the public was expecting the Motion to be
moved at that time.
However, UPP Chairman D.Gisele Isaac says this cannot happen
without the Speaker’s prior approval, and the Party can only hope
the Motion will be allowed onto the Order Paper.
According to Isaac, Sir Gerald has been showing extreme
partisanship in recent times, even appearing on the radio station
affiliated with the prime minister to answer those who challenge
She says this type of behaviour is unbecoming in anyone who sits in
the Speaker’s chair.
Isaac, a former Speaker of the House, herself, under the Baldwin
Spencer Administration, Notes that she, too, was criticized when she
held the position. However, in order not to lower the dignity of the
Chair, she says, she never responded.
Finally, she says the elitism being displayed by Watt, who publicly
has referred to a UPP supporter as a “yard fowl,” is astonishing.
Accordingly, she cannot imagine how anyone on the Opposition
benches will get a fair deal in the House under Watt, who controls
For these and other reasons, Isaac agrees that Sir Gerald should be
removed from the Chair.