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Quarrel breaks out at the House plenum

feature andria mp andreas themistocleous
File photo: MP Andreas Themistocleous

A quarrel lasting several minutes broke out at the plenum on Thursday after House Speaker Annita Demetriou barred independent MP Andreas Themistocleous from speaking apparently out of turn.

The kerfuffle happened when Themistocleous – during the debate on the bill on school exams – interrupted the proceedings asking to speak, saying he had pushed the buzzer twice before only to be disregarded by Demetriou.

“I asked to speak twice, and both times my name got deleted from the docket, and other speakers come before me. Do me a favour, tell me where you get the right to do that,” the MP challenged the House Speaker.

Annoyed, Demetriou responded that parliament has long ago decided its rules of procedure, and that it does not depend on who pushes the buzzer first.

“Enough of this, we’ve turned it into a circus,” she quipped at Themistocleous, as he had raised the issue of the order of speakers before.

Not backing down, Themistocleous cited the constitution, which he said states the order of speakers is defined according to who asks to speak first.

“The constitution obliges the House Speaker to give the floor to the person who pushes the buzzer first. I yield, but I accuse you of violating the constitution. There is nothing written down to back what you say, but there is something written down for what I say.”

The MP next proceeded to hand out copies of the constitution to colleagues.

Other lawmakers then began speaking, but Themistocleous kept interrupting with comments.

Demetriou did not let him speak, telling the MP: “I’m sure you’ll upload this to social media along with photos of myself.”

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