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Gov’t, Opposition Members Clash Over Chairmanship Of House Committees

RJR News /   There was a clash of words in the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon between Leader of Opposition Business Phillip Paulwell and acting Leader of Government Business Everald Warmington regarding the chairmanship of some Parliamentary committees.   At what was the first sitting of the House for the new Parliamentary session, Mr. Warmington announced the names of members of various committees. However, he did not name any chairpersons for those committees.   This did not find favour with Mr. Paulwell who said Mr. Warmington was going back on a long held convention where members of the opposition were given the opportunity to chair some committees.   “I am shocked that we are reverting to a practice that we believed had shifted long ago. I just want to make it clear, Mr. Speaker, at this early stage in the financial year, that we are going to be in strong opposition for any move to revert to that and to be backward in this regard,” he purported.     Mr. Warmington, in response, contended that there was no amendment made to the Standing Orders to allow for such an arrangement.    “I am sticking to the Standing Orders letter for letter and I said here the committee, in strict accordance with the provision of Section 73, Subsection 3 of the Standing Orders, will elect his chairmen at the first committee meeting. That’s what the Standing Orders say and what’s what I’m doing,” he rebutted.     Speaker of the House Pearnel Charles later told Mr. Paulwell that he could restate his case after the first meeting of the committees.

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