Speaker suspends sitting as UNC MPs complain of ‘dictatorship’

House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George. -
House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George. -

SPEAKER of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George temporarily suspended an extraordinary sitting of the House of Representatives on Thursday, after repeated interruptions and claims by Opposition MPs that the proceedings were dictatorial.

The MPs complained they were being denied the right to speak on a motion, filed by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, for the appointment of a tribunal to investigate the removal of President Paula-Mae Weekes from office.

Persad-Bissessar's motion is in relation to events that led to the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC) last month, and the failure of a merit list of candidates for a commissioner of police (CoP) to be sent to the House for consideration.

As the sitting got under way around 10.30 am, Annisette-George sought to address questions raised by Persad-Bissessar about no debate being allowed on the motion in accordance with Section 36 of the Constitution which allows for the establishment of the tribunal.

She also sought to raise questions of bias levelled against her and Independent Senator Charrise Seepersad, by Persad-Bissessar. Seepersad is the sister of former PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad.

Annisette-George said it was not her intention to address the sitting, but the questions raised by Persad-Bissessar warranted that she respond. But as she tried to address the matters raised by Persad-Bissessar, she was repeatedly interrupted by complaints from UNC MPs about what authority she had to make her statements, and that attempts were being made to silence the Opposition.

In the midst of the repeated interjections from MPs Rudranath Indarsingh, Anita Haynes, Rodney Charles, Saddam Hosein and Dinesh Rambally, Annisette-George said there were some motions, such as those which fall under Section 36 of the Constitution, on which debate is not allowed and all MPs, including Persad-Bissessar knew this.

As Opposition MPs continued to complain, Annisette-George suspended the sitting for 15 minutes.

Earlier, St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen complained the Opposition's MPs microphones were being shut off and Annisette-George was delaying the sitting.


"Speaker suspends sitting as UNC MPs complain of ‘dictatorship’"

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