Categorized | International, News

Government loses Senate vote

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

Story Created: Sep 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM ECT

Story Updated: Sep 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM ECT

The Government lost a vote in the Senate yesterday.

And for the first time in two decades, the Senate President had to use his casting vote.

Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith voted against the Government, as he was obliged to, after an individual casting of votes led to a tie (The last time a Senate President used his casting vote occurred when Linda Baboolal was Senate President between 1991 and 1995).

During the budget debate, Government had proposed around 6.10 p.m. that yesterday’s Senate sitting be extended to midnight. But Opposition and Independent Senators were not having it.

Leader of Government Business Ganga Singh moved a procedural motion that the House continue to sit until midnight or before.

Senate President Hamel-Smith put the question to the House: “Honourable senators, the question is that this Senate continue to sit until 12 p.m. or before. Those in favour say ‘aye’.”

Government MPs were vociferous in their support.

“Those against?”

The nays, coming from the Opposition and Independent senators, were not as loud.

The President, apparently mindful what happened in the last vote on the controversial Municipal Corporations (Proportion Representation) Bill, then asked: “Anyone wants a division (individual count of how each member has voted)?”

There seemed to be no clear call and the President said: “I think the ayes have it.”

Government members laughed as PNM Senator Pennelope Beckles then called for a division. But after the individual polling of senators, the results were 12 for/12 against.

It was the Opposition’s turn to laugh.

The 12 Government senators present comprised the 12 for. The 12 against were the five Opposition senators present (missing was Terrence Deyalsingh) and the seven Independent senators present.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

Story Created: Sep 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM ECT

Story Updated: Sep 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM ECT

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The Government lost a vote in the Senate yesterday.

And for the first time in two decades, the Senate President had to use his casting vote.

Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith voted against the Government, as he was obliged to, after an individual casting of votes led to a tie (The last time a Senate President used his casting vote occurred when Linda Baboolal was Senate President between 1991 and 1995).

During the budget debate, Government had proposed around 6.10 p.m. that yesterday’s Senate sitting be extended to midnight. But Opposition and Independent Senators were not having it.

Leader of Government Business Ganga Singh moved a procedural motion that the House continue to sit until midnight or before.

Senate President Hamel-Smith put the question to the House: “Honourable senators, the question is that this Senate continue to sit until 12 p.m. or before. Those in favour say ‘aye’.”

Government MPs were vociferous in their support.

“Those against?”

The nays, coming from the Opposition and Independent senators, were not as loud.

The President, apparently mindful what happened in the last vote on the controversial Municipal Corporations (Proportion Representation) Bill, then asked: “Anyone wants a division (individual count of how each member has voted)?”

There seemed to be no clear call and the President said: “I think the ayes have it.”

Government members laughed as PNM Senator Pennelope Beckles then called for a division. But after the individual polling of senators, the results were 12 for/12 against.

It was the Opposition’s turn to laugh.

The 12 Government senators present comprised the 12 for. The 12 against were the five Opposition senators present (missing was Terrence Deyalsingh) and the seven Independent senators present.