Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 23rd 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 22ND SEPTEMBER, 2015
GAIL ALEXANDER & RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Former House Speaker Wade Mark will
create history by returning to the Parlia-
ment---to head the Opposition People s Part-
nership s Senate team---following his five-
year stint as presiding officer in the House
of Representatives between June 2010 to
Mark is one of six Opposition PP Senators
announced yesterday after selection by Oppo-
sition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Mark, who served as a Speaker between
2010 to 2015 under the PP administration,
attended a United National Congress parlia-
mentary workshop at Paraiso Building, Claxton
Bay, yesterday, along with his colleagues.
He and the five other PP senators, the Peo-
ple s National Movement Government s 16
senators, as well as nine Independent Senators
announced yesterday, will take the oath of
office at today s ceremonial launch of the
first session of the 11th Parliament.
In an interview yesterday, Persad-Bissessar
also confirmed that former trade and invest-
ment minister Vasant Bharath, UNC chairman
Khadijah Ameen, attorneys Danny Solomon
and Wayne Sturge and former national diver-
sity minister Rodger Samuel would also be
She said she chose her team of senators
based on their experience and commitment
to service. She lauded Mark for his institutional
"Mr Mark, for example, is a very experi-
enced man in parliamentary practice and
proceedings," she added.
He resigned as Speaker on Monday, ahead
of today s election of new presiding officers,
following the September 7 advent of the PNM
Parliament officials yesterday confirmed
Mark s new undertaking would mark the first
time a former presiding officer would be
returning to another top role in the Parliament
immediately after resigning.
Mark, whose background is in labour, had
served as a UNC Senate leader in two previous
terms when the UNC was in Opposition.
Asked to justify her other choices yesterday,
Persad-Bissessar said: "I chose people on the
basis of experience. I also wanted some new
faces based on their commitment and qual-
ifications. I believe they will serve us well."
She said Bharath would bring "institutional
experience in the Senate.
"Minister Bharath brings a wealth of expe-
rience in several areas, including planning,
finance, trade and investment and even agri-
"Roger Samuel also brings expertise as part
of the Cabinet and he will also have that
institutional memory. Khadijah Ameen has
served as the chairman of our party and she
is a strong soldier and supporter," Persad-
Because the Senate deals mainly with leg-
islation, Persad-Bissessar said she felt it
important to appoint two lawyers---Sturge
and Solomon---to be part of the team.
"We have two great lawyers. I think we
need lawyers at this time. Those will bring
great value to the Senate. We are dealing with
legislation mainly in the Senate so that expe-
rience is important," she added.
Persad-Bissessar also said the parliamentary
workshop was meant to assist all parliamen-
tarians in dealing with parliamentary practice.
President Anthony Carmona will deliver
the feature address at today s function at the
Presiding officers for the House of Rep-
resentatives and Senate will also be elected
and the PNM s and PP s successful general
election candidates will take their oath of
office as Members of Parliament (MPs).
The House Speaker will be attorney Bridgid
Annisette-George, with PNM Tunapuna rep-
resentative Esmond Forde, Deputy Speaker,
it was confirmed yesterday.
The Senate President will be attorney
Christine Kangaloo, with PNM assistant gen-
eral secretary Daniel Dookie as Senate vice-
Leader of Government Business in the
Lower House will be Planning Minister
PNM Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon
will be Government s Senate leader.
President Carmona s nine selections for
the Independent Senate bench include three
former Independent Senators of the last Sen-
ate: Economist Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir, tech-
nocrat David Small and attorney Ian Roach.
Two other appointees to the incoming
Senate bench---businessman Taurel
Shrikissoon and petroleum engineer Melissa
Vicki Ramkissoon---also served as temporary
Independents in the last 2010-2015 term.
Other appointees to the incoming Inde-
pendent bench are senior counsel Sophia
Chote, CNMG morning talk show host Paul
Richards, Oxford University graduate and
NGO head Jennifer Raffoul and local gov-
ernment expert Stephen Creese. (See profiles
on Page A5)
The PNM Government s Senators are a
mix of five senator ministers, young attorneys,
a former temporary PNM Senator, various
other PNMites, plus defeated candidates and
unsuccessful Tobago nominees.
PNM officials yesterday denied a claim
that former attorneys general John Jeremie
(PNM) and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj would
be PNM Government Senators and would
"head an anti-corruption bureau." Commu-
nication Minister Maxie Cuffie also said that
"was absolutely untrue."
UNC deputy leader Roodal Moonilal will
likely be the Opposition PP s whip, PP officials
The Opposition PP also announced shadow
ministers yesterday. They are Roodal Moonilal
(Housing/Urban Development); Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar (Attorney General/Legal
Affairs/National Security); Rodney Charles
Vidya Guyadeen-Gopeesingh (Attorney Gen-
eral/Legal Affairs/National Security); Ganga
Singh (Public Utilities); Fazal Karim (Educa-
tion); Prakash Ramadhar (Attorney General,
Legal Affairs/National Security); Dr Bhoe
Tewarie (Planning and Development, Energy);
Dr Tim Gopeesingh (Finance); David Lee
(Trade/Industry); Christine Newallo-Hosein
(Social Development/Family Services); Dr
Fuad Khan (Health); Dr Lackram Bodoe (Public
Administration); Ramona Ramdial (Tourism);
Rudy Indarsingh (Labour, Agriculture); Dr
Surujrattan Rambachan (Works/Transport,
Rural Development/Local Government);
Rushton Paray (Agriculture, Lands Fisheries);
Barry Padarath (Community Development,
Culture, Arts, Sports and Youth Affairs).
Surprise Senators as 11th Parliament opens...
Mark makes more history
Temporary traffic restrictions will be in place in Port-
of-Spain from 6 am to 6 pm for today's officials opening
Parking will be prohibited on Wrightson Road, Edward
Street; Independence Square North; Independence
Square South; Richmond Street; Dock Road, South Quay;
London Street, Post Office Road and Park Street.
Between 1.30 pm and 4.30 pm drivers will be
prohibited from (a) Independence Square South,
between Edward Street and Wrightson Road (drivers
proceeding West along Independence Square South shall
turn north on reaching Edward Street) and (b) the west-
bound carriageway of Wrightson Road, between
Independence Square South and Sackville Street.
Drivers may, between 1.30 pm and 4.30 pm, proceed in
both directions along the east-bound carriageway of
Wrightson Road, between Independence Square South
and Sackville Street.
IN EFFECT IN CAPITAL
Guests seated in the Parliament chamber, Waterfront
Complex, Port-of-Spain, by 1.15 pm.
At 1.30 pm, a proclamation is read by the Clerk of the
House of Representatives declaring open the first
session of the 11th Parliament.
Same is done in the Senate, which meets separately in
the J Hamilton Maurice Room (adjoining the Chamber).
The Senate President is also elected and robed. A Senate
vice-president is elected. All PNM, PP, Independent
Senators take the oath of office.
Simultaneously, same is done in the House of
Representatives, where the Clerk of the House seeks
nomination for House Speaker, including any Opposition
proposal which can also be made, and a Speaker is
nominated. The Speaker is then robed and begins
presiding over the House. A Deputy Speaker is also
elected. Members take their oath of office as Members
Session is suspended briefly for Senators to join HOR
Presiding officers of both Upper and Lower Houses
exit the chamber to meet the President on his arrival
outside the complex.
The President takes the salute from the Guard of
Honour on Wrightson Road.
The President enters the chamber.
Prayers are delivered by religious leaders.
The President addresses the gathering of both Upper
and Lower Houses of Parliament.
On his completion, the Guard of Honour marches off in
the direction of Dock Road.
Possible remarks by the Prime Minister and/or
Guests, media exit immediately.
Reception follows at Waterfront Complex tented area.
Decorator Natasha Jack installs chair covers yesterday in an area designated for members
of the diplomatic corp for today's opening of Parliament at Tower D, International
Waterfront, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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