OTTAWA | The federal parties agreed to entrust the presidency of the House of Commons to the Bloc Québécois Louis Plamondon to replace at short notice Anthony Rota, who resigned in disgrace after inviting a former Nazi soldier to Parliament.
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“All the parties agreed that we had to find a person who is unanimous and who does not argue with the other deputies,” said Mr. Plamondon in an interview. I always had a good relationship with the other deputies, so they chose me. »
Mr. Plamondon’s presidency officially began after the departure of Mr. Rota on Wednesday evening.
Without a replacement speaker, the House would have been forced to adjourn its work until the election of a successor, which is scheduled for next Tuesday.
The parties in Ottawa therefore turned in disaster to the 80-year-old Bloc MP, who is also by far the dean of the House, having sat in Ottawa without interruption since September 4, 1984.
Mr. Plamondon was first elected under the banner of Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives, before participating in the founding of the Bloc Québécois, after the failure of the Meech Lake accord.
Ironic, a sovereignist?
As the oldest member of parliament, Mr. Plamondon has presided over the election of five presidents in the past. This is therefore not the first time that he has sat momentarily in the president’s green chair.
But this is the first time that he will officially carry this title in due form for several days, until a successor is chosen by preferential vote.
Is it ironic that a sovereignist temporarily occupies the position of Speaker of the House of Commons?
“The irony is more on their side,” he says. They are the ones who named me! »
Mr. Plamondon’s role will remain symbolic, to the extent that Mr. Rota’s deputies will preside over the work of the House for the vast majority of the time.
Four candidates are in the running to replace Franco-Ontarian Anthony Rota in the role of president, who is entitled to enormous privileges, including a salary bonus of $92,800, a driver and an official residence.
The vice-president of the House, the Acadian conservative Chris d’Entremont, the Franco-Ontarian New Democrat Carol Hughes and the Quebec Liberals Greg Fergus and Alexandra Mendès are running for the post of president.
The Kremlin also called on Wednesday to try Hunka, leading to Poland opening an investigation with a view to possible extradition.
“The Canadian authorities are required to bring this criminal to justice or hand over this criminal to those who want to do justice. It is clear that he is a Nazi,” said Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
– With AFP