New Deputy Speaker of House of Assembly promises to be fair
September 24, 2013

New Deputy Speaker of House of Assembly promises to be fair

Senator Jomo Thomas is the new Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, replacing former senator David Browne, who demitted office during the last sitting of the House in August.{{more}}

Thomas was elected unopposed last Thursday, after Dr Lorraine Friday, the representative for the Northern Grenadines, declined Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ nomination to the post.

After being elected, Thomas assured both sides of the House that he would always be fair in his decisions, if he is ever given the opportunity to sit in the Speaker’s chair.

“It is a very important position in this House. It is a position that I think is of vital importance for the upkeep of our parliamentary democracy. I think that it is serious business we are doing here, and I believe that that person should exercise their authority in a way that would be beyond reproach,” he said.

“I want to pledge and guarantee, if I am given the chance to sit in the Speaker’s chair, both sides of this parliamentary divide would have residing in me a person who would properly and carefully analyze the issues placed before us and come away making decisions that would be pleasing for all the members of the House”.

Gonsalves also expressed faith in Thomas’ ability to do the job.

“I am sure as Deputy Speaker, the Honourable Jomo Thomas will do an excellent job. He has a good temperament and I’m sure he that he will be fair and continue in the…traditions set by the Honourable Speaker,” Gonsalves said.

On September 16, during a swearing in ceremony for Senators Camillo Gonsalves and Luke Browne at Government House, the Prime Minister had revealed that he would be nominating Friday as the Deputy Speaker because of his “desire to see a greater sense of inclusiveness in the House”.

The Prime Minister, who said he had spoken with Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace and that Eustace was not enthused by the idea, noted that if Friday were to decline the offer, then Thomas would be elected as Deputy Speaker.

Eustace later said on the New Times Radio Programme that the New Democratic Party would not accept Gonsalves’ offer for Friday to be made Deputy Speaker.

Last Thursday, when the Prime Minister nominated Friday for the position, the Northern Grenadines representative declined the nomination. Former Senator David Browne resigned to pursue university studies.(BK)