Government will make a second attempt to pass motions to approve Senate amendments on the Bail (Access to Bail)(Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Criminal( Plea Discussion and Plea Agreement Bill) 2017 in the House of Representatives, when the House sits on Friday from 1.30 pm. When the House sat last Friday, the Opposition refused to support both motions. This resulted in two tied votes, as Government and Opposition each had 17 MPs present in the Parliament Chamber.
Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George exercised her casting vote in both situations, voting with the Government. Annisette-George also voted with the Government a third time, when the Opposition refused to support the House's adjournment to Friday. Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis said the Opposition's actions were dictated by the fact that both sides had equal numbers of MPs. Robinson-Regis said both bills do not require special majorities for passage.
Government is expected to have all its MPs, with the exception of La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie, in the House on Friday. Cuffie is recuperating at St Clair Medical Centre after experiencing a medical episode last Tuesday. Friday's sitting will also see Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley field questions from the Opposition in Prime Minister's Questions, which happens at the second sitting of the House every month.
The Public Administration and Appropriations Joint Select Committee (JSC), which is chaired by Annisette-George, holds an in-camera meeting today at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre from 1.30 pm. On Wednesday, the National Security JSC will hold a symposium on the private security industry in TT in the J Hamilton Maurice Room at Tower D from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.