By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff
Why does a prominent and senior NDP member like Dr Kedrick Pickering not know whether the reports of Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe’s political candidacy for his party are true?
He just never cared to ask, party leader Myron Walwyn told BVI News when invited to comment recently.
“To the best of my knowledge – and I did do my checks with the Premier (Dr D Orlando Smith) – the Deputy Premier (Dr Pickering) never raised the matter with him. He has never raised the matter in the government’s caucus, nor has he ever raised the matter with me as the Chairman of the party,” Walwyn said.
Dr Pickering was the first to publicly call out Moses-Scatliffe – the Speaker of the House of Assembly – to confirm or deny her reported candidacy with his party. Speaking in the House recently, Dr Pickering said the notion of a sitting Speaker becoming a political candidate is unethical and an ‘abuse of privilege’.
But Walwyn said he finds it “interesting” that Dr Pickering chose to handle his concerns ‘in that manner’ — “without the proper checks being done [within government or within the party]”.
“To my knowledge, he’s still a member of the National Democratic Party government. To me, if you really want to find out the veracity of the matter or really want to know what was going on, or if there was concern about the integrity of the House, to me, that is where it should have started — at least to find out whether the information is correct or not.”
Dr Pickering was the only NDP legislator to publicly question the Speaker. He received support from the two members of the parliamentary Opposition when he did.
Moses-Scatliffe declined to confirm or deny the reports, which she described as ‘rumours’. Instead, she asked Attorney General Baba Aziz to give his opinion on whether it is unethical or unlawful for a sitting Speaker of the House to be a political candidate.
Aziz is expected to render his opinion during the next sitting of the House on Tuesday, October 2.
The NDP has made no official announcements of any candidate who it wants to contest the upcoming general elections. The VIP, on the other hand, has announced eight of its 13 candidates so far.
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