THE NINE SEATS which were conspicuously empty in the House of Assembly last Tuesday will be filled today.
And according to Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, the voices of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will be heard as they continue to seek the establishment of a gun policy for Parliament.
One of those voices will be that of Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, who has promised to have his say on an alleged incident involving himself and Minister of Economic Affairs Dr David Estwick.
It will be the first time Marshall will speak to the public on intimate details of the matter, having previously written a letter to Speaker of the House Michael Carrington, asking that Estwick’s behaviour be referred to Parliament’s Committee of Privileges.
“The situation that we are faced with Tuesday [today] going back into Parliament is one where instead of Estwick being the individual on trial, the DLP wants to put me and my parliamentary colleagues on trial. It will not end so,” Marshall told a BLP nomination meeting at the Christ Church Foundation School last Sunday night.
The nine BLP members who boycotted last week’s resumption of the House after an Easter break are all expected in their seats today, Mottley informed the DAILY NATION yesterday.
She felt their protest had the desired affect.
“The impact we wanted was for the public to fully realise how important a gun policy in Parliament is,” Mottley said. “This is a very simple issue we want settled, and now that the Speaker of the House acknowledged this is a matter for him, we hope it will be dealt with quickly.”
She said, however, that she found some of Carrington’s comments in the House last week to be “curious”.
Mottley said Carrington’s comments that a gun policy would not be introduced at the whim and fancy of one or two MPs would have to be looked at more closely.
“This is not just at anyone’s whim and fancy. The Opposition firmly believes that wanting a gun policy is a serious but simple issue that can be dealt with.”
According to her, buildings such as the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the National Insurance Building, and the new Halls of Justice – all Government buildings – had strict gun policies in place, and the requisite electronic scanning equipment to go with such policies.
“We feel Parliament should be the same. It’s that simple,” Mottley said.
She said the BLP MPs were to meet last night to determine if to raise the matter again when the House convened today at 10 a.m.
Last week, the Opposition boycotted proceedings, and Carrington made an official comment to the House, regarding not only a gun policy, but also an alleged incident.