Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House probe under way


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Almost four months after the hotly-debated Dr David Estwick/ Dale Marshall “incident”, Parliament’s Committee of Privileges has finally resumed meetings.But it could be a while before the public hears what recommendations the new-look committee makes on the much-talked-about March 19 development.The seven-member committee met in the Senate chambers yesterday for the first time since reports surfaced of a confrontation between Cabinet minister Estwick and Opposition Member of Parliament Marshall in the precincts of the House of Assembly.Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, determined that a prima facie case had been established and in May formally referred the matter to the committee for enquiry, report and recommendation. The SATURDAY SUN understands that the first order of business yesterday for the committee was setting the rules of procedure and that the “big” issue might not be addressed until next month.Both Marshall and Estwick have made formal statements on the  “incident”. Marshall charged that on March 19 he saw Estwick with a “firearm in his hand” and “looking at me in a menacing way”.Estwick, however, said he did not “brandish, or threaten with a weapon, any member of this House, as has been implicitly speculated”.The committee’s meeting was delayed by the need to take in two new members – Opposition MPs Rawle Eastmond and Cynthia Forde – to replace Hamilton Lashley, who is no longer an Opposition member, and William Duguid, who is bowing out of electoral politics.Carrington yesterday declined to comment on the committee’s meeting, referring the media to Clause 61 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, against disclosure of committee decisions before they reach the floor of the House.The House is on recess until August 6.Meantime, both media houses and politicians are watching to see if this committee decides to include a recommendation on a Code of Conduct for MPs generally. (TY)


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