“Mammoth effort” ahead of opposition – Speaker

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The 17 members of the Antigua and Barbuda House of Representatives were sworn in yesterday at the first sitting of the Lower House.
The event also saw Sir Gerald Watt Q.C. being re-elected as Speaker of the House, with Londel Benjamin as his deputy.
A large number of those on hand to witness the ceremony were dressed in red Labour Party t-shirts and cheered lustily for their representatives.
The new representatives for the government are Maria Browne, Daryll Matthew, and former senators Lennox Weston and Benjamin.
Those returning are Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, Sir Robin Yearwood, Molwyn Joseph, Samantha Marshall, Michael Browne, Melford Nicholas, Dean Jonas, Asot Michael, Charles “Max” Fernandez, and E.P. Chet Greene.
On the opposition side there’s the United Progressive Party’s Jamale Pringle, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, and Trevor Walker, the representative for Barbuda.
A smattering of boos emanated from the viewers’ gallery as Walker took his oath, and this rose at the end of the sitting when he and PM Browne exchanged brief words of a less-than-friendly nature.
Browne had shaken hands with Pringle before the start of the sitting but he did not extend those pleasantries to Walker. The Labour Party and Walker’s Barbuda People’s Movement have a long-running contentious relationship.
Earlier, Sir Gerald welcomed the new members to the House and issued a caution on how MPs should conduct themselves in the parliament. Congratulations were also extended to the prime minister on his victory and he told
Pringle that as opposition leader he had an “awesome responsibility” and a “mammoth effort” ahead of him to bring his party back into contention.
The date for the next sitting is to be announced later.

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