By NATION REPORTER
SPEAKER Nelly Mutti should resist the temptation of behaving partisan as she risks being cited for abuse of authority and could face jail after her term if she continues making decisions that breach parliamentary standing orders, Peter Chanda has cautioned.
Mr Chanda, the New Congress Party leader says Speaker Mutti risks being the first ever Parliament presiding officer to be dragged to court if she continues to misdirect herself when presiding over debates in parliament.
The debate on the government’s decision to hire Grant Thornton and Price Water House Coopers (PWC) escalated into a furious confrontation between Speaker Mutti and PF Members of Parliament following the Speaker’s refusal to debate the scandal leaving Brian Mundubile, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament fuming.
Ms Mutti froze the sitting allowances for PF MPs for Friday after the lawmakers protested by staging a walk-out following the Speaker’s decision to curtail debate on the Defense auditgate scandal.
But Mr. Chanda said in an interview that Ms Mutti misdirected herself on Friday during the Vice President Question and Answer session when she curtailed debate on the Defense auditgate scandal.
He has advised Ms Mutti to stop avoid the temptation of acting partisan when presiding over parliamentary debate and allow the MPs to debate on the flow of the House freely without being blackmailed or intimidated.
Mr Chanda said Speaker Mutti had abused her authority by ordering that the PF parliamentarians who had staged a walk-out on Friday should not receive their sitting allowances when she did not have the authority to make such decisions.
“The speaker should stop misdirecting herself because she is going to be cited for abuse of authority and she will be the first speaker to go to jail. She curtailed debate on a very important and topical matter. She then decides to order that the MP that walked out of the House because of her partisan decision should not receive their allowances. She has no authority to make such decision as there is a Parliamentary Select Committee that is mandated to make such decisions,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr. Chanda said the speaker was completely offside when she curtailed the debate on the Defense auditgate scandal because the action taken was an infringement on the rights of members of parliament to debate matter freely on the floor of the house.
He alleged that action from the speaker signifies bias and gross incompetence and misconduct because in a democracy MPs are allowed to debate freely without any interruptions.
Mr. Chanda said the speaker cannot dictate the way debate in parliament is supposed to be done therefore she was offside in terms of following the standing orders in the house.