Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Moonilal: Opposition PNM didn't support PP 'hangman' bill

File Photo: Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal


The People's Partnership (PP) government brought legislation to the Parliament to fast-track the hangman, which Dr Keith Rowley and the then-opposition did not ­support, says Oropouche East MP Dr ­Roodal Moonilal.

“Both Faris Al-Rawi and Dr Rowley said there was no need for legislation and did not support our bill. They further said it was a simple administrative problem that they knew how to solve. Eighteen months later, their solution is to sub-contract out the hard task of doing the work. After all, it must not interfere with Dr Rowley's ­vacation time,” stated Moonilal in a news release on Saturday.

In 2011, the People's Partnership government proposed the Constitution (Amendment) (Capital Offences) Bill 2011.
The opposition People's National Movement voted against the “Hanging Bill”.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Rowley announced his Government has sought the help of former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to look at ensuring the death penalty is carried out in this country.

Moonilal said it appears after 18 months even the Prime Minister has lost faith with the PNM Cabinet. “It's telling that Dr Rowley's major crime initiative involves calling on the services of a former United National Congress attorney general to take over the duties of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi,” he said.

Moonilal said the input of Maharaj, however sincere, into the very serious matter of resuming capital punishment is insufficient.

The Opposition MP said it was clear Rowley needed all the help he could get, “as over the last 18 months his own Cabinet colleagues have proven to be lacking in ­competency”.

He's lost control of the Govt

Managing crime, said Moonilal, is now an hourly job for the law enforcement ministers and agency heads. “An outside consultant cannot do this work. It requires political will, competence and a zeal to fight crime—none of which is present in the current Government. The announcement that the Prime Minister is proceeding on vacation the day after fishermen found the body of Nyasha Joseph is just adding ­insult to injury,” stated Moonilal.

He added that after firing three ministers and side-stepping others, “it”s clear that Dr Rowley has lost control of the Government”.

“His latest snub to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is perhaps though his greatest self-admission that he is quickly becoming a failed prime minister. Sadly, this would all be comical if our country were not in the midst of a serious economic crisis and out-of-control crime rate. The next Cabinet minister he should replace is himself,” said Moonilal.