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Panday: No ‘deal’ to readmit me

By SEAN DOUGLAS Friday, July 18 2008

OPPOSITION LEADER Basdeo Panday said he would be no part of any secret deal to readmit him to Parliament in exchange for Opposition supporting Government legislation to exclude directors of State companies from declaring income/assets/liabilities under the Integrity in Public Life Act 2000.

Panday yesterday said, “I will be no part of any deal to betray the trust of the people who elected me to Parliament to represent them. I will not compromise that position merely for the purpose of being in Parliament.” Yesterday, Opposition Chief Whip Ramesh Maharaj issued a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Patrick Manning on their meeting last Friday in the House of Representatives on the lifting of Panday’s suspension. Panday was suspended for disobeying Speaker Barry Sinanan’s order not to use a laptop without permission.

“You told me that your Government did not have a problem in supporting such a motion provided the Opposition supported Government in its proposed amendments to the Integrity in Public Life Act 2000,” Ramesh’s letter stated.

Maharaj’s letter stated that Maharaj had told Manning that Panday’s readmission ought not to be linked to Opposition support for the legislation, but the letter alleged Manning had insisted the two issues be linked.

“There will be no deal. It is calling for us to sell out the people who elected us and to vote according to Manning’s will,” Panday said. At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference, House Leader Colm Imbert downplayed the issue by saying reports of the deal were just rumours.

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