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Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hendrick Alexander. (IWN photo)
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hendrick Alexander. (IWN photo)

The House of Assembly will not provide Opposition lawmaker Daniel Cummings with the special chair that a physician has recommended for him.

But Cummings told House Speaker, Hendrick Alexander, that the House of Assembly is obliged to provide the special seat to accommodate his injured back.

Cummings, who represents West Kingstown, has said that his back was damaged when opposition lawmakers were physically removed from Parliament two years ago.

Cummings has given to the Speaker a letter from his physician in Trinidad, recommending that he be provided with a special chair.

“I am in receipt of a letter from you which tells me that you are not recommending that I get a chair to be used in this Honourable House,” Cummings told the Speaker during a meeting of Parliament on Thursday.

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“I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that having served as a manager for about 17 years, and having an understanding of the industrial relations laws, and being a humanitarian, and having had significant training in human resource management, I want to put on record to you Mr. Speaker, that what I put to you was not a request, it was not a begging,” Cummings said.

“You have a responsibility, as my employer, to provide for me the conditions necessary to carry out my work in accordance with all the laws and in accordance with all the international agreements signed between our country and the rest of the world,” the lawmaker further said.

“I would say to you, Mr. Speaker, that you wrote that letter in haste. And I want to give you credit. And I would pray that you would so rescind it,” Cummings said.

Opposition parliamentarian, Daniel Cummings. (Internet photo)
Opposition parliamentarian, Daniel Cummings. (Internet photo)

“And in my own experience, Mr. Speaker — I have done this for a number of my employees — people would in their haste write drastic letters and I call them in and I say to you, ‘Really, this is not helping your case but I would give you an opportunity. You may withdraw the letter and I would treat it as never having been received.’

“So I give you, with all respect, Mr. Speaker, an opportunity to reconsider and deal not only in a humane way, but in a lawful, sensible, judicious, and I hope, expeditious manner,” Cummings said.

The Speaker told Cummings during a meeting of Parliament in May that he wanted some “personal discussion” with him on the matter.

“Yes, I received a letter and it came from your consultant neurosurgeon… And, as you indicated, that you sent a quotation and also I observed the terms and conditions of that quotation.”

Alexander further told the lawmaker “this whole matter has some historical perspective.

“And, of course, I acknowledge your situation and I don’t think it is the intention of this Honourable House or this Speaker to make the performance of anyone in this House uncomfortable, as it were.”

Reports say that at least one legislator has taken legal action over the eviction and the Speaker’s response to Cummings’ request could have implications for any court battle.

4 replies on “House Speaker denies MP’s request for special chair”

  1. The late Larry Bascombe, who was wheelchair bound and showed an interest in getting elected to Parliament, would’ve had to stay in the yard of that building and listen to the audio speakers if he was elected while this regime and house speaker in control. I wonder if Gonsalves and Hendrick think that the smiles or greetings they get when they meet ‘friends’ are genuine?. Gonsalves once described Hendrick as “the worst senator in the house” and now Gonsalves is making him the worst Speaker in the world.

  2. Alwayn Leacock says:

    This is not politics it is unadulterated evil. wit prayer and supplication this evil that has taken root in our country will be gone one day for what so ever a man “seweth” that also shall he reap. None of the evil people in history ever thought it would come to an end for them the two most recent Sadam and Ghadaffi. they lived by the threat of the gun and they died at the behest of the same gun. What the people of our country have is prayers and if we pray earnestly we will get answers.

  3. Der Bundestag
    Donnerstag 6 Juni 2013
    Kingstown, Sankt Vincent

    When Cummings raised this matter I watched the face of the speaker of the house, he had an amused grin on his face, he obviously takes this as a matter of amusement.

    Now if Gonsalves told Hendrick to get him a chair, he would run up the street and buy one from his own pocket within the hour.

    I wonder what the terms of the quotation are that Herr Präsident Hindrick mentioned, bet it was cash with order. Because I doubt anyone in SVG would give them credit.

    Seeing as they are broke, that is the reason they couldn’t buy the chair. Its not that they wouldn’t, its because they couldn’t.


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