by Linda Straker
- First for Houses of Parliament in at least 15 years
- Norland Cox nominated as Deputy President of Senate
- Clarice Modeste nominated as Deputy Speaker of Lower House
Opposition parliamentarians who are members of the New National Party (NNP) in both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament are the second in command. They can prescribe over a sitting in the absence of the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate.
This is a first for the Houses of Parliament in at least 15 years.
During the first working session of the Upper House on 11 October 2022, members elected Norland Cox, one of 3 Opposition Senators appointed by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Mitchell appointed a Deputy Speaker. He formerly served as Minister for Infrastructure.
Cox was nominated as the Deputy President by Leader of Government Business Senator Adrian Thomas and seconded by Senator David Andrew.
During the first working session of the Lower House also called the House of Representatives, members elected Clarice Modeste as the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament. She was nominated by Member for St David and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, and seconded by Member Kate Lewis.
The deputy of each House is tasked with chairing the sessions in the absence of the Speaker or the President. That absence could be during a session or when the Speaker or President cannot prescribe over a session.
In the Senate, the representative of the business community was nominated to serve as Deputy Speaker following the 2013 and 2018 General Elections or the 9th and 10th Parliament, respectively, that person was Christopher De Allie. Following the 2008 General Election and the opening of the 8th Parliament, then-Senator Chester Humphrey was the Deputy President.
This is the first time in 9 years that there are elected opposition members in the House of Representatives and Senators appointed by the Leader of the Opposition immediately following an election.
Following the 2013 and 2018 General Elections, there were no opposition members in the House of Representatives until Tobias Clement, then Member for St George’s Northeast crossed the floor and became the Leader of the Opposition.
However, before Clement crossed the floor, a member of the House who was not serving as a government minister or cabinet member was appointed Deputy Speaker. For the 9th Parliament following the 2013 General Election, that person was Clifton Paul. In the 10th Parliament following the 2018 General Election, that person was Anthony Boatswain.