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House Speaker unlikely to resign unless charged with sex offence

House Speaker Raphael Trotman

Embattled House Speaker, Raphael Trotman signalled strongly on Friday that he would not resign from that Constitutional Office unless he is charged, even as he maintained his innocence of any sexual offence.

Asked specifically whether he would resign if charges were insitituted against him, Trotman said he would address that next Tuesday. He, however, suggested that he would not inhibit the functioning of the Office of Speaker.

 “I am a patriot. I love my country. I love the fact that I can serve Guyana as Speaker but I will do nothing to injure the reputation of the National Assembly and/or to interfere or impede the business of the House including no confidence motion…Anything that woud detract from te flow of the work and the business of the House I will not be part of it so rest assured I will do what is right and the interest of Guyana if and when that time comes,” he said.

 Trotman pointed to a precedent in 2013 when the Deputy Speaker of the British House of Commons Parliament, who was accused of sexual misconduct resigned only after he was charged. Guyana and Britain are among several members worldwide that are members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association- an organisation that Trotman said he was looking to for guidance.

 “We have looked at precedent from a country considered to be the holy grail, as it were, of parliamentary democracy and the Westminster System ,” he said.

 Trotman has since secured an injunction restraining 22-year old Johnny Welshman, preventing him from uttering any such allegations in the public and on his Facebook Page.

 While AFC Presidential Candidate, Moses Nagamootoo was among several AFC top executives who participated in the news conference in a show of solidarity with their founding member, Trotman for his part reiterated that he has and would never engage in any sexual misconduct. “I have never in my life committed any act of a sexual nature that is illegal. I have never molested any child, male or female, and I have never, as a matter of fact, even as Counsel represented a person charged with a similar offence because of my abhorrence of maters of this nature ,” he said.

  “The Alliance For Change stands behind its founding member and former party leader and calls for a full, frank, open and thorough investigation of the allegations made against the Speaker,” added AFC Presidential Candidate, Moses Nagamootoo.

 The AFC and Trotman maintained that Welshman’s allegation that Trotman has sexually molested him was part of a grand scheme hatched by the government to remove him as House Speaker and delay debate and eventual passage of the no-confidence motion.