Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kamla slams general election call

 PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night slammed Independent Senator Ian Roach for calling for the general election to be held now.

Persad-Bissessar said during her time as a Parliamentarian, both in the Lower and Upper Houses, she has never heard an Independent Senator make such a statement.

Roach made the comment during his contribution to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 on Wednesday.

Persad-Bissessar said it was wrong for Roach to make such a call.

She, however, understood that he was “very strong and passionate in his views”.

Persad-Bissessar said general elections will be held when they are constitutionally due. 

She made the statements during the wrapping up of the Bill.

The Bill was passed with a vote of 18 for and 12 against just after 11 o’clock last night after going to the Committee Stage of the Senate. She also slammed Temporary Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds for condoning the jeering of Parliamentarians by protestors outside the Parliament building.

Persad-Bissessar said such behaviour against Parliamentarians was a breach of Parliamentary Privileges. 

She chastised the analogy by Independent Senator Helen Drayton that the Run-Off provision of the Bill was the “Trojan Horse”.

Persad-Bissessar said it was a “wrong analogy”.

She said opponents raised the issue of the “letter and the spirit of the law” in respect to the Bill only requiring a simple majority.

Persad-Bissessar said the People’s National Movement (PNM) breached that very principle by allowing Hinds to be appointed a temporary Senator and contribute to the Bill. Hinds replaced Opposition Senator Camille Robinson-Regis in the Upper House last night as she was out of the country.