It’s not over, says Eustace
March 8, 2011
It’s not over, says Eustace

Leader of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace has said that the planned protest action is not finished.{{more}}

“We cannot have people’s rights taken away,” Eustace said on the NDP New Times programme yesterday.

He declined to give any details on the Party’s strategies, but told Vincentians that they should take lessons from what they saw coming out of countries like Libya, where dictators had been allowed to “flourish and flaunt” for years.

“We don’t want St.Vincent to come to that stage, so anyone with dictatorial tendencies, we will stand up,” he continued.

Eustace further contended that while everyone would not be in agreement with the tactics of the NDP in the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 3, Eustace said he stood up to protest against a bill he considered to be symbolic of a creeping dictatorship.

“That is why I refused to sit,” the Opposition Leader explained, adding that the people also needed to stand up against having their rights taken away.

He said that the NDP was going to do all within the legal framework to ensure it prevents a dictatorship.

“So when the Prime Minister got up, I did not wait,” Eustace explained, adding that he immediately intervened under Section 59 of the rules that govern Parliament.

“In accordance to rule 59, I was rising to ask the Prime Minister to withdraw [the Bill].”

He defended his action of disobeying the Speaker’s orders to sit, by making it clear he was aware of the rules of the House and that he stood firm.

Eustace explained that under section 43 of the said Rules of the House of Parliament, the Speaker can take a number of actions, including suspending the current session of Parliament or put a motion to evict the member of the House.

“I said nothing more, I just refused to sit. I wasn’t abusive and I didn’t display any unruly behaviour, I simply refused to sit,” Eustace said. It was after it became clear that the Opposition Leader was in defiance of the request of the Speaker that a decision was made to suspend Eustace for the remainder of the session and remove him from the House. (DD)