Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 14, 2014
People s National Movement (PNM)
whip Marlene McDonald has appealed
to the nine Independent senators not
to support the Government s Consti-
tution (Amendment) Bill.
She did so at a PNM meeting in St
James on Tuesday, when all the speak-
ers celebrated the vote against the bill
by Congress of the People (COP) MPs
Winston Dookeran and Carolyn Seep-
ersad-Bachan in Tuesday s debate.
Audience members loudly applauded
both when their stance against the bill
The bill, to be debated next in the
Senate on August 26, requires only one
Independent vote for passage.
Calling the United National Congress
(UNC) "hooligans," McDonald criticised
statements on the bill by Attorney Gen-
eral Anand Ramlogan, who she said
was "classless" and "bombastic."
She said COP leader Prakash Ramad-
har, who supported the bill, was "spine-
PNM senator Stuart Young said he
was a patriot bringing a message to all
right-thinking people that the issue
was about the people.
He said, "Thankfully, there were
right-thinking citizens on the other
side who voted with us against the bill."
Young urged, "Take your bills back.
Your own Foreign Affairs Minister
blanked the bill. Dookeran did what
was right! Let s vote them out. Good-
MP Colm Imbert said the COP s
Dookeran, Seepersad-Bachan and
Rodger Samuel had broken ranks on
"How the mighty have fallen! They
boil down! They had 29 MPs: (Jack)
Warner gone, (Herbert) Volney gone,
(Anil) Roberts gone and now three COP
MPs gone!" he said.
Saying "two and a half COP MPs"
vetoed the bill, Imbert listed: "Dook-
eran, Seepersad-Bachan and Samuel---
that wimp who say, Abstain ---at least
he didn t vote, Yes. "
Imbert said it was a "nice thing to
listen to" when Dookeran said that all
his political life he d fought for pro-
portional representation and the bill
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley, intro-
duced as "The People s Prime Minister,"
said he d told Dookeran to get a back-
bone. "And did he get one," he declared.
He said the COP had told its MPs
to seek postponement of the bill and
when the Prime Minister saw it was
in the public domain she allowed a
conscience vote, which arose because
the coalition was "disintegrating before
their eyes... the TOP gone, MSJ gone
and the COP went on Monday night."
Rowley said after Dookeran s "can-
non," the PM amended the bill.
He said collective responsibility under
the Westminster system applied to Cab-
inet, and the COP ministers would have
had to resign from the Cabinet. If they
were going to vote against it in Parlia-
ment, they should have done the hon-
ourable thing, he said.
The T&T Chamber talked "non-
Concerns have been raised about
whether members of the Independent
Senate bench will be bullied, intim-
idated or harassed into voting one
way or another when the controver-
sial Constitution (Amendment) Bill
2014 goes to the Senate on August
26 for debate.
Leader of Government Business in
the Lower House Dr Roodal Moonilal
raised the issue yesterday, as he said
he had taken note of attempts by
members of the People s National
Movement (PNM) to identify inde-
pendent senators and try to intimidate
"There should be no reason to do
that because the independent senators
are quite intelligent and capable of
making up their own minds," Moonilal
said following a cheque distribution
ceremony for the Inter-American
Development Bank Assisted Pro-
gramme, Neighbourhood Upgrading
Programme at the Old Fire Station
Building in Port-of-Spain.
Moonilal described as a "sickening"
development the way PNM supporters
were allowed to wait outside the Par-
liament until 4.20 am on Tuesday,
after the Bill was passed in the House
of Representatives, to heckle Govern-
ment members as they left.
He said he intends to bring it to the
attention of the House Speaker Wade
Mark, as it is a direct breach of the
new Standing Orders.
"This was completely uncalled for.
It is a very sickening development that
the PNM will have their supporters
all night on the streets to confront us
in such a distasteful manner."
Moonilal said Senators will have
ample time for the Bill and amend-
ments to be circulated to them, and
should there be any questions or need
for clarity, government members will
be on hand to meet with them.
"The Independent Senators will read
and study the proposals and if need
be, if it is a request of the Senators
to have any discussions with the Gov-
ernment in this matter, I am sure we
will be available.
"I am not saying that we will be
speaking with the Independents today
or tomorrow. When the debate begins
the government will be available to
discuss with Senators, their ideas and
He added that the government
expects that the Bill will be passed in
the end should a directive of con-
science voting be given in the Senate.
Moonilal to raise intimidation
issue with House Speaker
McDonald appeals to Independents...
Don't vote for PP reform bill
sense," he charged, when it said
the reform was a step in the right
He also said a quisling (traitor)
known to him had given the Prime
Minister the PNM s constitutional
review documents, in which the
PNM had approved the same
reforms the PP proposed.
PNM supporters during the party's public meeting at Bournes Road, St
James, on Tuesday night. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
Party unveils rising star
PNM MP Colm Imbert says he
and PNM leader Keith Rowley
are in "the departure lounge"
and have about ten more
years left before they hand
over the PNM to a younger
breed of politicians.
Imbert said so at Tuesday's St
James PNM meeting, where
party chairman Franklin Khan
introduced senator Stuart
Young to the platform as a
Imbert said the PNM was
scouting for talent and had
also introduced Clarence
Rambharat to the platform
recently. He said the PNM
would roll out its policies for
government next month and
is working on candidates, and
policy, which is almost ready,
examining the voters' list,
preparing constitution issues
and getting mechanisms in
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