LA Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie was granted additional leave from Parliament on Wednesday. Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George approved a request for Cuffie to miss sittings of the House for this month.
Cuffie suffered a stroke last September and is being treated at a hospital in Washington, DC, where he had had surgery last month.
Newsday understands he is undergoing physiotherapy and is doing well.
In a statement last month, Cuffie said, “Following recuperation and a couple weeks of therapy, the neurosurgeon will advise on my ability to travel by commercial airline.”
He added that he and his wife Hermia are eager to return home.
Cuffie’s additional leave angered former UNC minister Devant Maharaj, who, in a statement, demanded a by-election in La Horquetta/ Talparo.
He said of the extra leave granted to Cuffie: “Make that ten months’ holidays with pay.”
Maharaj has filed a complaint about Cuffie’s medical bills with the Integrity Commission.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said there is no basis for Maharaj’s complaint and reminded citizens that Cuffie, “is still a human being.”
Also during Wednesday’s sitting of the House, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell said “ineffective marketing and destination branding” would have a greater impact on tourist arrivals as opposed to negative travel advisories.
Mitchell said Government intervened last year to arrest the decline.
Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said nine solo artistes and two bands are being prepared to be “export-ready” by Music TT.
She explained this was part of the Artiste Development Initiative Programme announced in the 2017/2018 budget presentation.
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said his ministry is awaiting a report about a near-fatal accident on the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension between a driver and an asphalt-spreading machine.