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A new speaker of the House of Assembly is expected to be formally announced soon, possibly on Tuesday, March 20, according to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
Speaking to reporters at a recent press briefing, Chastanet said: “We will be making the announcement very soon, I believe with regards to the new speaker of the House. So that announcement will obviously be made on Tuesday, when we get that person sworn in and elected.”
The position became vacant after Leonne Theodore-John resigned effective March 1, 2018, after serving for two years.
She cited health issues as one of the main reasons behind her decision. On the evening of Oct. 31, 2017, during a sitting of the House, Theodore-John suddenly took ill and was admitted to hospital for high blood pressure and stress-related symptoms. She was discharged from Tapion Hospital the following day.
The attorney-at-law made the announcement of her resignation on March 8, 2018. At the time, she also revealed that she is set to take up a new position within the country’s High Commission office in London at the end of this month.
Commenting on her move, Chastanet said it is “very sad” to see her go.
“I mean she is a great friend, but I am also very happy for her in terms of her new position. The position is a very important position. As you know we go through a very difficult time with the extraditions of St Lucians from the UK. It’s a growing number unfortunately and it has become a huge task for the High Commission so having somebody with a Law background to help deal with that, and more importantly, a person like Miss John, who is a very empathetic person. I think that she will do an incredible job to support the High Commissioner in that position,” Chastanet said.
Senate President Andy Daniel is expected to fill the vacancy left by Theodore-John, according to reports.
Daniel served previously as leader of opposition business in the Senate and was a former candidate for Dennery North. He is also an executive member of the ruling United Workers Party (UWP).