ACTING Attorney General Stuart Young apologised to Independent Senator Charisse Seepersad, for the trauma she experienced during a sitting of the Electoral College (the combined membership of the Senate and House of Representatives) on October 21.
On that day, the college rejected a motion filed by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to appoint a tribunal to investigate the removal from office of President Paula-Mae Weekes.
Persad-Bissessar’s motion was in relation to events that led to the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC) in September and the failure to send a merit list of candidates for a commissioner of police (CoP) to the House for consideration. Seepersad, the sister of former PSC chair Bliss Seepersad, was heckled by opposition parliamentarians during that meeting of the college.
In his contribution to a motion filed by Independent Senator Anthony Vieira to censure opposition senators for their conduct on October 21, Young condemned the Opposition's attacks on Seepersad, Weekes and Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George on that day.
"As a man of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I reject that and I despise it and I condemn that kind of behaviour."
Referring to Vieira's description of the trauma that Seepersad experienced on October 21, Young said all citizens should condemn the six opposition senators for their cowardly behaviour in attacking Seepersad.
He told Seepersad, "As a citizen of TT here today, as a man, I apologise to you for what you had to unfairly undergo on that day."
In another setting, Young said he would have come to Seepersad's defence in a different way. What Seepersad endured on October 21, he continued, could never be justified. "I apologise on their (UNC) behalf because they don't have a bone of decency in their body, to ever do that to you."
Young criticised Opposition Senators David Anil Roberts and David Nakhid for continuing this kind of behaviour on social media.
After initially describing Roberts as behaving like a child, Young changed that description to an "it". When he was cautioned by Senate President Christine Kangaloo about his language, Young replied that he omitted the first two letters of that word. Kangaloo replied, "That's not okay." Young heeded her ruling.
Referring to Sections 28 and 35 of the Constitution, as well as the fact that all members of the college received copies of Persad-Bissessar's motion, Young said no opposition member could publicly claim the UNC did not know what the college was meeting to discuss.
He condemned an earlier walkout by four opposition senators as a continuation of the disrespect that the UNC continues to show to Parliament since October 21.
Young said the population should be wary of the Opposition's strategy to constantly seek to denigrate anyone who disagrees with them. "That is a dangerous playbook. The population should observe and condemn this playbook." Under parliamentary convention, government ministers are allowed to participate in debates in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.