Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2013 Contents A7
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St Joseph MP Herbert Volney says
he remains confident the House
Speaker will "steer clear" of any moves
to declare his seat vacant.
Volney said that in an interview in
Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar wrote Speaker
Wade Mark on August 26 asking that
he declare the seat vacant at the next
sitting of the House because he had
resigned as a member of the United
Volney has since become a member
of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP),
which is led by another former UNC
member, Jack Warner.
Mark was not present for yesterday s
sitting of the House as he was attending
a conference in South Africa.
Deputy Speaker Nela Khan presided
but the matter was not addressed.
Volney told reporters he was waiting
to see what happens on Monday when
the Parliament sits next.
He said yesterday the Speaker "may
follow precedent and find that the law
is uncertain and will not participate in
a process to undo the popular will of
the people of St Joseph."
Volney said based on the Constitution
the matter should have been dealt with
yesterday. He insisted the Speaker did
not have the enabling authority to
declare the seat vacant, especially as
legal action against it was being con-
He said litigation was possible based
on how the matter proceeds.
Volney said he wanted to know what
would happen if Tobago Development
Minister Delmon Baker were to resign
and join the UNC or the ILP. He said
the Tobago Organisation of the People
MP "has no identifiable leader in the
House of Representatives. What could
be done about him? The answer is
Volney said he was elected on May
24, 2010, on the platform of the People s
He said the legal issue was really
whether the Speaker is enabled to iden-
tify and recognise a leader of a political
party without the aid of the constitu-
tionally required standing orders that
are to give effect to the Crossing of the
"That is a matter going to be the
subject of litigation. I have confidence
the Speaker will follow the precedent
set by former speakers and will steer
clear of this action," he said. (RL)
MP confident to
keep St Joseph seat
St Joseph MP Herbert Volney
is renewing his call for Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan to be
removed from the People s Part-
Volney spoke in an interview
with reporters at the Parliament
yesterday, the day after Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
announced a Cabinet reshuffle.
Among the ministers whom some
expected to be removed was Ram-
Volney said: "Everybody wanted
prised, not shocked, that he was
"I think he has to go, he still has
Volney said he welcomed the
reshuffle because "what was there
before was not working." He said
the changes should give hope for
a more successful result.
Asked if new National Security
Minister Gary Griffith could have
a positive impact on the crime rate,
Volney said while he could not give
a yes or no answer, he felt Griffith
had been around the National
Security Council long enough to
ensure there was continuity for
some of the good crime-fighting
Volney said he hoped some of
the measures left by former
national security minister Jack
Warner would be implemented.
Meanwhile, Warner, in his
capacity as interim leader of the
Independent Liberal party (ILP)
confirmed that Volney has been
accepted as a member of his two-
Warner said moves to have
Speaker Wade Mark declare Vol-
ney s seat vacant because he had
joined the ILP were a ploy to dis-
courage other PP MPs who may
want to join the ILP.
"This is meant to frustrate them,
but I don t know if that will help
Warner said the Kamla Persad-
Bissessar Government has dimin-
ished the goodwill it had from the
population within three years.
Pointing out that in the past
three years the Government has
had four ministers of national
security and the crime problems
had not been adequately addressed,
he said that was a clear indication
the something was wrong.
Warner also responded to Per-
sad-Bissessar s latest call for a gov-
ernment of national unity.
He said two weeks ago he resub-
mitted measures that could be
implemented to deal with crime
but the PM "did not even dignify
that with an acknowledgement.
And now you calling me to talk
about national unity?"
On Griffith s appointment,
Warner admitted that it was he
who brought Griffith into the fold
of the National Security Council.
Griffith was then the national
security adviser to the Prime Min-
Warner said under former min-
isters nobody took Griffith on.
At first saying he wanted to
reserve comment on Griffith, in
the hope that he would succeed,
Warner then said the appointment
was "a last desperate act (and) I
don t know what else the prime
minister will do, not if, but when
this does not work."
call for PM to
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, right, talks with Mayaro MP Winston Peters, left, and St Joseph MP
Herbert Volney during the lunch break of the sitting of Parliament yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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