Failing Parliament supremacy


THE EDITOR: The recent Cabinet shuffle points to turmoil in the PNM camps. Under the principles of both individual ministerial responsibility and collective Cabinet responsibility, which apply through existing law, Faris Al-Rawi should have been made to resign.

It would seem that, rather than uphold the principles, the Prime Minister bowed to pressure and gave him an alternative portfolio. The problem of his elected status is side-stepped.

The situation with Clarence Rambharat is similarly cloudy. He would be responsible for whatever it is in the ministry supposedly went wrong, and he would have had to resign for it. But if the cause of it was something originating in Cabinet, his resignation would effectively throw a curtain on the source and side-step implicating other members of Cabinet.

In both cases the reason for ministerial termination is not clear and succinct, and the content eludes the Parliament. The supremacy of Parliament is thwarted as it is denied scrutinising what was going on in these cases.

Will the same thing happen with Fitzgerald Hinds?

Our Constitution does not make the Cabinet supreme. The Cabinet is answerable to the Parliament, the Opposition, individual MPs as a body and to its own party MPs. Ministers are first accountable to Parliament.

Whether it is that ministerial responsibility is being suppressed, or being contorted, the question of no confidence must arise as it would seem that ministers are being protected from obligation to answer to the Parliament, even as they are simultaneously accepting a conscription to keep information from Parliament.


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"Failing Parliament supremacy"

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