All Saints East & St Luke MP now an independent candidate

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In a peculiar and almost historic occasion, Member of Parliament for the All Saints East & St Luke Constituency Joanne Massiah was yesterday named an independent candidate – the first female politician to ever bear the title.

She will now sit by herself in Parliament, on the opposition benches having received permission from the Speaker of the House to do so.

Quoting from a letter penned by the MP to the Clerk of Parliament, Speaker of the House Sir Gerald Watt QC, read, “As you may be aware on February 12th 2017, the United Progressive Party voted to expel me from its membership. As a consequence of this development my seating in Parliament has been affected as I am no longer affiliated with the UPP. I am requesting that you dialogue with the Honourable Speaker and convey my decision to sit a few seats removed from the members of the UPP with effect from tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) sitting,”

Sir Gerald then invited the embattled MP to, “Kindly take your seat as near or as far away as you wish.”

He also said that neither he nor the Clerk to Parliament had received any communication from the UPP as per the decision which was taken.

The All Saints East & St Luke MP was applauded by those on the government’s side of the bench.

Later on, when she took the floor, she launched an attack on the opposition party recounting the series of events, which led to her expulsion.

“Recall the barrage of character assassination and verbal attacks hurled at me for attending the Budget presentation on January 21 and in fulfilment of my duties as a Member of Parliament. Recall the UPP Political Leader referring to me as a traitor on January 24, 2016; recall the UPP Central Executive meetings commencing in April 2016, where members walked out as soon as I walked in, thereby making the meetings incorrect and essentially no meetings will be held once I was present,” Massiah said.

The embattled MP was officially kicked out of her party in February following a very public, near two-year battle with the party’s executive.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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