Independent Member of Parliament Asot Michael remains
suspended from the House of Representatives as the House Speaker
awaits a ruling from the High Court.
Michael was “suspended” during the May 18 sitting of the Lower
House reportedly for being disrespectful to the Speaker by
disobeying a directive not to engage in cross-talk. His suspension is
for three consecutive sittings.
However, the MP has challenged the Speaker’s ruling by filing a
constitutional motion in the Court. The MP claims that the action
was a breach of several of his constitutional rights.
House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt – in updating the House on the
matter on Thursday, July 27 – said that his attorney, Dr. David
Dorsett, has filed a motion to have the matter thrown out.
The motion to dismiss was heard just over 10 days ago, with the
presiding judge promising to have a decision before the next sitting
of the House, which initially was set for Tuesday, July 25.
However, up to Thursday, the ruling remained outstanding; and
Michael, through his attorney, sought to have the Speaker allow him
to attend this sitting.
The Speaker told the House that he had not suspended the MP;
rather, the suspension was effected through a Motion by the House.
That explanation caused the Member for All Saints East and St. Luke,
Jamale Pringle, to rise on a point of elucidation, asking Sir Gerald
which Member had moved the motion to have MP Michael
However, Sir Gerald said he refused to entertain the Opposition
Leader, stating that the Speaker’s announcements do not require
any such elucidation, based on the Standing Orders.
Watt further advised Pringle to consult the Standing Orders – the
handbook of parliamentary procedures – to confirm his earlier
In the meantime, Sir Gerald said he is mindful of the current
workload of the judge, and he has promised to keep the House
informed when the decision on MP Michael’s matter is handed