News

Deadly error in the House

BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012    

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SPAIN'S Ambassador to Jamaica Celsa Nuño yesterday sat in the public gallery of the House of Representatives only to hear House Speaker Michael Peart announcing that she had died earlier during the day.

The announcement triggered despondency among the MPs, including Leader of Opposition Business Delroy Chuck, who shouted, "no."

Chuck informed the speaker that it must be a mistake because he had seen the ambassador in the lobby and knew that she was there for the sitting. Peart, realising that a mistake had been made, consulted with House staff and eventually corrected himself, stating, "my apologies, they are (here) meeting with us."

All eyes turned to Ambassador Nuño comfortably seated in the gallery, and apparently enjoying the episode, as the House rose for a minute's silence in memory of a former member, Dr Sydney Beaumont, who passing members had just addressed when the speaker made the error.

There was no explanation as to how the Speaker made such an embarrassing blunder, considering that he had received a note from the clerk. Peart left the chamber during the sitting and was unavailable for comment at the adjournment.

Chuck told the Jamaica Observer that the fact that the House had just completed expressing sorrow at the passing of Dr Beaumont, might have led the speaker to

believe that the note was about another death.

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