Speaker suspends National Assembly amidst protest for Kwame McCoy’s removal

Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir on Thursday morning suspended the sitting of the National Assembly as Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) banged on their desks calling for the removal of Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs Kwame McCoy.

It is alleged that McCoy on Wednesday assaulted Opposition MP Tabitha Sarabo-Halley while at the Arthur Chung Conference Center.

Opposition Chief Whip Christopher Jones told the house that in light of the incident which occurred on Wednesday, “we will not proceed with the consideration of these estimates unless Mr. Kwame McCoy leaves the precinct of the National Assembly.”

He further stated that female MPs on the Opposition side of the house are not comfortable with the Minister’s continued presence in the house.

Jones also pointed out that McCoy is not listed as a Minister to contribute to the day’s proceedings in the house.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Texiera who is also the Government’s Chief Whip stood in McCoy’s defense said that the Opposition Members cannot call for his removal except in the form of a motion. She also noted that “there is a lot of doubt surrounding the incident.”

Subsequently, the Speaker attempted to suspend the sitting and proceed to the Committee of Supply to continue the consideration of Estimates for the 2021 National Budget but this was challenged by the political opposition.

Opposition Members began banging on their desks while chanting ‘Kwame must go!’ despite two attempts by the Speaker to proceed with the business of the house.