The Deputy is Essential?

The House of Assembly met on Monday 19th September 2011. The meeting started at 10am with the House Speaker in the chair and all the members of the House present bar one. The appointed deputy speaker was absent; he was in the Middle East on private business. Of course that was no reason not to proceed with the Order Paper: a motion to borrow $5 million dollars from a local bank for the purpose of constructing a purpose-built home for abused children.
With just one major matter on the Order Paper for the day the House meeting ended at 10:45 with the motion passed. Within minutes of the end of the House session word reached the parliament that the Deputy Speaker died in the Middle East at 9:45 am that same morning.
Well from all we have heard from some legal “experts” the motion to borrow $5 million can no longer be acted upon because the House was without a deputy speaker at the time it convened and therefore not properly constituted. Come on! There was no way the House could have known this. And if it did, should the House be adjourned and the day’s business abandoned for fear of resolving to act illegally if not out of a respect for the dead?
This is the new significance the deputy speaker has acquired if we are to accept the interpretation that nothing valid can come from the House during its life, in the absence of an appointed Deputy Speaker.
Is that what we mean when we say the law is an ass? Or are some trying very hard to make it one? I wonder what the courts would conclude?

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