Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 18th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Monday, May 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 15TH MAY, 2015
The Opposition PNM has suddenly decid-
ed to return to Parliament on Friday since
ILP leader and Chaguanas West MP Jack
Warner has "showed them up," stealing the
spotlight in handling a range of Opposition
duties solo in the PNM s absence, says PP
House Leader Roodal Moonilal.
"So they re really returning since they
caught Jack stealing...their limelight," he
Moonilal was commenting after PNM
chairman Franklin Khan announced on Sat-
urday that PNM MPs would return to Par-
liament after their recent walkout and boycott
from May 6 when PNM leader Keith Rowley
was suspended from the Parliament.
Khan said the PNM MPs would return to
Parliament for Private Members day---when
Opposition business is discussed---to debate
a motion by PNM MP Paula Gopee-Scoon
on a Soldado West project probe.
Noting Government had been holding two
Lower House sessions weekly he said the
PNM s return would debunk the "foolishness
that they feel they re setting a trap for us,"
regarding PNM s seats in the House.
Under Parliament s Standing Orders if an
MP misses more than six consecutive sessions
without permission, they vacate their seat
and it can be declared vacant. After PNM s
walkout, all but MPs Patrick Manning, Nile-
ung Hypolite and Amery Browne have been
absent without permission for subsequent
sittings on May 8, 13 and last Friday.
Moonilal said, "It s ludicrous to even think
of declaring a seat vacant a week before Par-
liament ends. What is happening is the PNM
is now climbing down from their high horse,
seeking to crawl back into Parliament due
to public pressures and the people s strong
will that demands a return to Parliament.
But they ve also caught Mr Warner stealing
their spotlight in Parliament since in recent
weeks of their absence, he s raised more
motions than they did in three years...so Jack
had shown them up to be lazy."
"Having walked off the job, the national
community must note their recklessness as
far as representing the people since several
key issues have closed and are close to being
completed---the pre cursor chemical bill,
Ombudsman s report and we ve almost com-
pleted the IRA Bill and Cyber Crime Bill.
Some have expressed concerns and the PNM
hasn t been there to do their job and raise
matters in the Parliament in the public inter-
On media concerns about the Cyber Crime
Bill, Moonilal said PP s caucus this evening
will decide how it will proceed and whether
Government will want to re-engage stake-
holders at this time.
After reported claims the Prime Minister
might announce an election date of Sep-
tember 7 when Parliament prorogues on June
17 and asked if the PM may also make an
announcement at next Sunday s May 24 PP
anniversary rally---marking the end of the
term---Moonilal said there would always be
"May 24 is a significant day when we
gather to celebrate and commemorate five
years in office (so) I m sure appropriate
announcements and declarations would be
made fit for such a day."
On questions about some of the people---
including former political and other person-
alities---who have submitted nominations
for UNC, Moonilal didn t answer directly
but said the situation showed there was
"great interest" in the UNC. He said no dead-
line for nominations has yet been set.
Jack showed them up
Moonilal on Opposition's return to Parliament...
return as PM
The next time PNM leader Keith Rowley
enters the Parliament, he ll be entering as Prime
Minister of T&T, PNM chairman Franklin Khan
Rowley was suspended on May 6 from the
Parliament for the rest of the term. The latter
ends June 17 to be followed by general election.
After initially boycotting the Parliament after
Rowley s suspension, PNM MPs will return on
Friday, to do an Opposition motion but Rowley
remains suspended. Khan spoke in launching
yesterday s PNM forum on its policy framework
for the 2015 general election, rolling out policy
on key areas for the election.
Venue was Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Many of the candidates wore PNM s red signature
shirts. The all-day event was geared to PNM s
41 candidates, campaign managers and two plat-
form speakers per constituency. Rowley gave an
overview while PNM vice chairman Colm Imbert
presented the party policy.
Participants later in the session had a question
and answer period.
Khan said information had been refined by
a process over the term starting with the work
of PNM s Charles Mitchell team revering PNM s
original Vision 2020 policy framework and refor-
matting this to the Vision 2030 package.
This was deliberated upon at a 2014 think
tank during the first day of PNM s convention
last year and suggestions were further added at
the completion of that convention.
Khan said the current document will form
the basis of PNM s 2015 general election man-
Khan said two key factors in bringing about
election success was "message and script---every-
one must be on the same page."
The party chairman said the PNM didn t want
policy being made up in front of a microphone
on a platform: "Stick to our message and all
will be well," he mandated attendees. (GA)
Dr Tim Gopeesingh
shares a joke with
PNM Point Fortin
MP Paula Gopee-
Scoon at the T&T
Spain on Saturday.
Joining in the joke
is Attorney General
Garvin Nicholas at
left. At left of
Gopeesingh is the
founder of Young
Voices David Lewis
and Arts and
Minister Dr Lincoln
SHARING A LIGHT MOMENT
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