Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has filed a motion of no confidence in National Security Minister Stuart Young.
The House of Representatives has not yet sat for the year. But if it sits any time during this month, the motion could be debated on January 29. The House normally has Private Members’ Day on the last Friday of each month, when no government business is discussed and the Opposition determines the agenda for the sitting.
A statement from the Opposition Leader’s office on Wednesday said, “The motion became necessary as underscored by the draconian and authoritarian decision to keep Trinidad and Tobago’s borders closed.
“The closure left tens of thousands of nationals stranded abroad, making TT the only nation in the world where nationals require an exemption directly from a government minister to return home.
"This ministerial authoritarianism is unacceptable and unconstitutional.”
The statement claimed the exemption process is “evidently riddled” with discrimination, inequality and unfairness.
Over the past few months, many citizens' return has been inexplicably delayed, it said. The Opposition accused the minister of giving the runaround, and alleged that close family members of the PNM administration seem to experience no problem in securing exemptions.
The statement also blamed Young for the “chaotic and poorly conceived” migrant registration policy, the rapid deterioration of security of the national borders, and the secret award of private security contracts.
The Opposition also raised concerns about the influx of Venezuelans. The statement claimed migrants have been allowed to persist with no immediate attention to border management.
The Opposition alleges that “Venezuelan pirates” have been advertising their trips to and from Trinidad openly on social media.
“We charge that Stuart Young has sabotaged our nation’s border security by preventing the use of multiple air and naval assets because they were purchased under a UNC-led Government.
“The lack of proper border security has allowed a growing human- and weapons-trafficking network to flourish with the effects further crippling our nation.”
A full case will be presented in the House outlining every alleged detail and instance where he has allegedly placed TT’s security and reputation at risk, it said.
The statement concluded that all 19 UNC’s MPs support the motion and “Every day he (Young) remains in office is a further threat to our safety and security as citizens of TT.”