The action of the Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday and the New Democratic Party (NDP) was premeditated. At the least, what transpired was not an accident.
“… when I got the list of questions and went through them, I felt in my bones that mischief was at play… the formulation of the questions were designed to evoke a certain kind of response from this side of the House,” Francis said during his contribution to the debate on the Supplementary Estimates presented in Parliament on May 11.
Speaker of the House, Rochelle Forde suspended Friday when he refused to take his seat upon her request.
The Leader of the Opposition had raised vociferous objection to the presence of Senator and Deputy Speaker of the House – Ashelle Morgan, and called for her withdrawal and/or suspension given that she was named in an ongoing investigation into an alleged criminal offence.
But Francis commended both the Speaker and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves for their calm and collected response to the opposition.
According to Francis, the opposition’s ploy failed after they failed to evoke a certain kind of response.
Francis noted that “if you read the questions of the Senators, except for Senator Bruce (Israel), the other questions were basically a repeat of questions asked before.”
Francis pointed to the first two questions on the Order Paper as related to issues of the evacuation plan and relief supplies.
The third question dealt with COVID-19 with the Leader of the Opposition asking the health minister about the number of persons vaccinated and other coronavirus related issues.
In words not uttered, it was clear that in Francis’s assessment, the Opposition had come to the Sitting with other motives that, when all was taken into account, were not fulfilled.