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Dr. Barton Scotland confirmed as House Speaker

Dr. Barton Scotland (Stabroek News photo)

Veteran Guyanese legal expert on the Law of the Sea, Dr. Barton Scotland has been confirmed as the new Speaker of the 65-seat National Assembly.

A usually reliable source in the coalition administration confirmed that Scotland, a former Guyanese diplomat, would be taking up his seat after he is voted into office by government parliamentarians who enjoy a one-seat majority.

So far, the main opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) has not signaled that it would be occupying its 32 seats when the 11th Parliament is convened on Wednesday, June 10 , 2015 for the first time following last month’s general elections.

Scotland was selected after weeks of speculation about whether Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran would have returned to that post or in the end Attorney-at-Law, Roysdale Forde or former High Court Judge Claudette Singh would have been selected.

In a pre-election pact, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) had agreed that the Speaker would not have been a parliamentarian.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) says that the 11th Parliament will formally begin with a Proclamation summoning the session, followed by a roll call by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Sherlock Isaacs. This will be followed by the election of the Speaker of the House, as well as the Deputy Speaker.

Other Members of Parliament (MPs) will then take their Oath of Office, and after the swearing in ceremonies are completed, the day’s business will be read out by the House Speaker.

There will be a short recess around 15:00 hrs. (3 pm) to cater for the Arrival of President David Granger, who will address the National Assembly, after inspecting a ceremonial Guard of Honour, on the forecourt of the Parliament. The President’s address is expected to set the tone of the National Assembly.