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Chaos in St Vincent Parliament

Opposition MPs evicted, two injured

CMC

Friday, March 04, 2011    

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said that two opposition members are nursing injuries suffered while being removed from the House of Representatives Thursday.

Eustace told journalists that Senator Vynette Frederick was nursing injuries to her shin and knee while MP for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings had an injured shoulder. He said both were being treated at a private medical facility on the outskirts of capital.

Eustace also told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that his daughter, Mia Eustace, a former journalist in New York, who was recently called to the Bar in St Vincent and the Grenadines, was badly shaken after being thrown down the stairs of the House of Parliament by police officers.

The Opposition leader said that the two Opposition members were manhandled down the stairs of the House of Assembly after Speaker of the House Hendrick Alexander order that Eustace and other opposition Parliamentarians be removed from the chamber.

Eustace said he was dragged down the stairs by police officers while his daughter, who was unaware of the fracas, was attempting to enter the gallery when she too was thrown out.

The incident occurred after the Opposition leader rose on a point of order, requesting that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves refrain from proceeding with proposed amendments to Section 51 of the Representation of the People Act.

The House speaker asked Eustace to take his seat so that the prime minister could respond but the Opposition Leader remained standing.

The speaker then asked Eustace to leave the House but the Opposition leader stood his ground.

The speaker then suspended the House for about 10 minutes during which time the Opposition Leader remained standing.

When the session resumed, the speaker requested the sergeant of arms to escort the Opposition leader out of the House but the seven other members of the opposition benches formed a protective ring around him.

The speaker then called on members of the police force to assist the sergeant of arms to evict the Opposition members from the House of Assembly.

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