By Caribbean News Global contributor
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — St Vincent and the Grenadines has a new Speaker of the House of Assembly in the person of Carlos James. This concludes weeks of speculation following the resignation of Jomo Sanga Thomas.
“I started a new journey in service to the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as the newly elected Speaker of the House of Assembly. I took an oath to be impartial in the execution of my duties, one I pledge to uphold. This appointment is humbling, but my thoughts are with every young person who aspires to be of service to our beloved nation. This is for you,” James said, last Thursday, March 26, 2020.
It is not a strange occurrence in Westminster parliamentary system to have a former Senator presiding as Speaker of the House. In the UK, the former Speaker, John Bercow, remained an elected member of parliament while serving as Speaker; so too, his predecessor, Sir Lindsay Harvey Hoyle, MP.
James is also the Unity Labour Party candidate for the North leeward Constituency, for the second time having contested and lost in the 2015 general elections.
“In a few months, following the dissolution of the parliament, the people of North Leeward will have the opportunity to elect me as their next parliamentary representative,” James said.
Addressing members of parliament, the newly elected Speaker said:
“No stranger to the seat having chaired the proceedings of the House in the past. I am fully aware of my obligations to preside over the House and to apply the rules of the House accordingly.
“It matters not whether you are on your feet as a member of Government or Opposition, the Standing Orders of the House apply to all members, with no exception.
“My commitment is to be completely impartial, and I will do my best faithfully and honourably, to serve this House in the period ahead.
“I genuinely believe that all members of the House are here in service to their constituents and the people of this county, and it is on that basis I shall seek to discharge my obligations, fairly and objectively.
“It is not for me to celebrate in any form this appointment, but I will only mention that my thoughts are with every little boy in my home community of Troumaca, the rest of North Leeward and every young person in St Vincent and the Grenadines who aspires to be of greater service to their country.”