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18 booted out Govt so far

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

Eighteen people lost either their  ministerial portfolio, their senatorial seat or both since the People’s Partnership administration, under the leadership of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, came into office less than four years ago.

These 18 were either members of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Eleven ministers were fired. They were Mary King, Subhas Panday, Therese Baptiste-Cornelis, Nan Ramgoolam, Verna St Rose Greaves, Collin Partap, Herbert Volney, John Sandy, Christlyn Moore, Jamal Mohammed and Glenn Ramadharsingh.

Of the 11 fired, four were axed in response to specific allegations—Partap, Volney, King and Ramadharsingh—while the other seven lost their portfolio as the result of a Cabinet reshuffle.

Additionally two ministers—Jack Warner and now Chandresh Sharma—resigned, following specific adverse allegations.

Furthermore, Nicole Dyer Griffith lost her parliamentary secretary porfolio and her place in the Senate as a result of a Cabinet reshuffle.

And three senators without portfolio—Patrick Watson, Dhanny Maharaj and Terrance Daynes—had their senatorial appointments revoked, while  another senator without portfolio, David Abdulah, resigned shortly after his party, Movement for Social Justice, severed links with the ruling coalition following repeated criticisms of its performance. 

Of the 11 ministers fired, eight lost both the ministry and their place in the Senate simultaneously. They were King, Panday, Baptiste-Cornelis, Ramgoolam, St Rose-Greaves, Sandy, Moore and Mohammed.

The remaining three who were fired—Partap, Volney and Ramadharsingh—kept their seats in the House of Representatives.

Volney, however, lost his seat in the House of Representatives, one year after his sacking, when he resigned from the United National Congress (UNC) and made history by being the only person to have lost his seat as a consequence of the application of the provisions of the Crossing of the Floor Act. 

Warner, who resigned as a minister, voluntarily resigned his seat in Parliament, making history, too, when he launched a new party (Independent Liberal Party) and successfully defended the Chaguanas West seat under the ILP banner in a by-election.

Ramadharsingh, Partap and Sharma retain their seats on a growing backbench of former ministers. All three MPs maintain their loyality to the UNC.

Unless they are expelled from the party or they resign their seats in the UNC, there is no requirement for them to lose their positions as MPs.

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