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(SNO) – Emphasizing that he has no regrets taking up the job as speaker of the House of Assembly, Andy Daniel has said that he “would love” to be given additional resources so that he can raise the standards of the St. Lucian Parliament to the level of others in foreign jurisdictions.
Daniel, an attorney, was sworn in as Speaker of the House on March 20, 2018.
In an interview recently with DBS, Daniel said he is “enjoying” his job but he wants to be equipped to do more.
He said: “No regrets. Before that I was the president of the Senate. I’m enjoying it, and the minute I stop enjoying something, I stop doing it. So if it means tomorrow I stop enjoying it, I will stop tomorrow. But I have absolutely no regrets and I will give it my very best.
The former magistrate continued: “I would love a little more resources to ensure Parliament becomes what it ought to be. And that is my drive. I travel representing the Parliament of St. Lucia in various jurisdictions and what I see, what I observe, what I partake in, is not happening here in St. Lucia. In other words, Parliament in St. Lucia, I would want it to be the way it ought to be, which is a Parliament, the voice of the people of the State.”
Commenting on the behaviour of Parliamentarians in the House, Daniel said he understands that emotions can run high sometimes, but when it gets out of hand that’s where he draws the line. He said indecent language and insulting language are not acceptable in the House because parliamentarians are expected to hold a honorable standard.
He said: “Truth be told, I used to be an Opposition senator, and I have always said in Parliament, I understand the cross talk, because members don’t speak. Although they speak to me, or they speak through me, but they speaking to their constituents out there. So I understand that. They play not to me, but to their constituents and they need to impress their constituents, but when it gets out of hand, that’s my problem. You see that I interject, okay? I think in time, as I preside, I think in time it will change, because I will bring a new… like I said I would like to change the Parliament, in terms of the way we behave. I drive that agenda forward. I think Parliament, the members will react to it, and therefore they will find a new way of deliberating in Parliament.”
He added: “When you get elected, you are a parliamentarian, you not leader of the Opposition, you not prime minister, you not a minister. You are member of Parliament representing a district. And first and foremost, I would like to see that a parliamentarian play that role, and thereafter, everything else comes into play.”
Daniel replaced Leonne Theodore-John who had resigned to take up a diplomatic post in the United Kingdom.