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Opposition stages walkout as Speaker promises ruling

Editor’s Note: The following story is brought to highlight similar matters that should be brought and need attention in Montserrat’s Legislative Assembly.

The matter arose out of a Legislative Assembly sitting, following which the following complaint was lodged and published by TMR and much later a statement on ZJB Radio:

“I was utterly astonished to hear my family name called in thinly veiled form, on ZJB Radio…during a string of accusations being made against the PDM government by the new, MCAP Opposition Leader. Having set a context of alleged cronyism and claimed documents and sources, the Opposition Leader proceeded to associate my family name and my practice of policy advice consultancies with the notion of a proposed shady consultancy of EC$ 250,000.”

The writer and complainant, under the heading, “Time for a Temple Cleansing” called for cleansing of , “the temple of law in Montserrat, lest we utterly undermine civility and mutual respect; which are the foundation of a stable and just democracy and community worth living in.”

(See: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/time-for-a-temple-cleansing/”

Little if anything has been done on the matter.

By Peter Richards

 

Trinidad,  CMC – Speaker Wade Mark has promised a ruling on whether or not a junior government

Keith Rowley, TT Opp Leader

minister should be brought before the Privileges Committee for her “vile personal attack” on the Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, as opposition legislators walked out of the Parliament session for a second consecutive time within a two week period.

Leader of the small minority Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner, had filed the motion calling for action to be taken against the Minister in the Ministry of the People, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, over the remarks she made about Rowley during the debate on a government-sponsored motion of no confidence in the Opposition Leader on March 25.

There have been widespread calls for Alleyne-Toppin to be removed as a government minister even though Prime Minister Persad Bissessar said that while she too was concerned at the statement, she nonetheless accepted her apology.

Vernell Alleyne-Toppin

Vernell Alleyne-Toppin

Alleyne-Toppin told legislators on March 25 that “one day a young girl went to take lunch for her father in a coalspit.

“When she got there, her father had gone to change his cow. It’s a true story. She, however, met her father’s best friend and co-worker, alone in the coalspit.

“This young girl was then raped by her father’s best friend. The produc­t today is the aspirant to lofty office,,” Alleyne-Toppin, adding “Mr Speaker, can you imagine this mother carrying this pain and shame for nine months and the impact it had on the unborn child?”

When Parliament resumed on Wednesday, Alleyne-Toppin read out an apology in which she said her long standing opposition to domestic violence “has been well established over the many years” and “it was and is never my intention to stigmatise any person whatsoever who may have suffered the indignity of domestic violence of any kind

“Clearly my contribution during the debate in question had no such purpose,” she said, adding that against this background “I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to this Honourable House and any person outside of this Parliament for the mischaracterization which may have been deduced from the statement made during my contribution”.

But as he presented his motion for Alleyne to be brought before the Privilege Committee, Warner said that the statements by the junior minister were “unsavoury” and “distasteful”.

He told legislators that the junior minister’s “outrageous statements” were publicsed locally and internationally.

“We are now the laughing stock of the Commonwealth parliamentary community. And Mr. Speaker, it is now indisputable that the malignant and distasteful statements made by the Member for Tobago East were untrue and therefore wholly misleading.”

He said they were also “ an absolute violation of free speech afforded to members of Parliament”  and that even if she believed the story to be true she provided not one shred of evidence.

“She was therefore wantonly reckless in her responsibility to provide accurate information to the House and seriously misinformed the House in a material way. Furthermore Mr. Speaker, the statements made by the Member were not in the national interest but constituted a vile personal attack on the Leader of the Opposition and served the sole purpose of bringing the House into serious public odium and disrepute. This must be a contempt of the House.”

Jack Warner

Jack Warner

Warner said the statements by the Tobago East parliamentarian were designed to bring the legislative body into “public odium, ridicule and disrepute”.

He said he was asking the Privilege Committee to recommend what action should be taken against Alleyne-Toppin, who is a member of the Tobago Organization of the People (TOP), one of the four partners in the coalition People’s Partnership government.

“Mr. Speaker in accordance with the relevant Standing Orders I ask that the Member for Tobago East be referred to the Privileges Committee of this House, not to determine whether a contempt has been committed but for the Committee to recommend appropriate action to be taken in relation to the Member’s repugnant statements.”

But the Speaker told legislators that he had only just received the motion prior to the sitting of the House and promised a ruling would be made at the next sitting of Parliament, which is now continuing to debate the motion of no confidence in Rowley.

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Editor’s Note: The following story is brought to highlight similar matters that should be brought and need attention in Montserrat’s Legislative Assembly.

The matter arose out of a Legislative Assembly sitting, following which the following complaint was lodged and published by TMR and much later a statement on ZJB Radio:

“I was utterly astonished to hear my family name called in thinly veiled form, on ZJB Radio…during a string of accusations being made against the PDM government by the new, MCAP Opposition Leader. Having set a context of alleged cronyism and claimed documents and sources, the Opposition Leader proceeded to associate my family name and my practice of policy advice consultancies with the notion of a proposed shady consultancy of EC$ 250,000.”

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The writer and complainant, under the heading, “Time for a Temple Cleansing” called for cleansing of , “the temple of law in Montserrat, lest we utterly undermine civility and mutual respect; which are the foundation of a stable and just democracy and community worth living in.”

(See: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/time-for-a-temple-cleansing/”

Little if anything has been done on the matter.

By Peter Richards

 

Trinidad,  CMC – Speaker Wade Mark has promised a ruling on whether or not a junior government

Keith Rowley, TT Opp Leader

minister should be brought before the Privileges Committee for her “vile personal attack” on the Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, as opposition legislators walked out of the Parliament session for a second consecutive time within a two week period.

Leader of the small minority Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner, had filed the motion calling for action to be taken against the Minister in the Ministry of the People, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, over the remarks she made about Rowley during the debate on a government-sponsored motion of no confidence in the Opposition Leader on March 25.

There have been widespread calls for Alleyne-Toppin to be removed as a government minister even though Prime Minister Persad Bissessar said that while she too was concerned at the statement, she nonetheless accepted her apology.

Vernell Alleyne-Toppin

Vernell Alleyne-Toppin

Alleyne-Toppin told legislators on March 25 that “one day a young girl went to take lunch for her father in a coalspit.

“When she got there, her father had gone to change his cow. It’s a true story. She, however, met her father’s best friend and co-worker, alone in the coalspit.

“This young girl was then raped by her father’s best friend. The produc­t today is the aspirant to lofty office,,” Alleyne-Toppin, adding “Mr Speaker, can you imagine this mother carrying this pain and shame for nine months and the impact it had on the unborn child?”

When Parliament resumed on Wednesday, Alleyne-Toppin read out an apology in which she said her long standing opposition to domestic violence “has been well established over the many years” and “it was and is never my intention to stigmatise any person whatsoever who may have suffered the indignity of domestic violence of any kind

“Clearly my contribution during the debate in question had no such purpose,” she said, adding that against this background “I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to this Honourable House and any person outside of this Parliament for the mischaracterization which may have been deduced from the statement made during my contribution”.

But as he presented his motion for Alleyne to be brought before the Privilege Committee, Warner said that the statements by the junior minister were “unsavoury” and “distasteful”.

He told legislators that the junior minister’s “outrageous statements” were publicsed locally and internationally.

“We are now the laughing stock of the Commonwealth parliamentary community. And Mr. Speaker, it is now indisputable that the malignant and distasteful statements made by the Member for Tobago East were untrue and therefore wholly misleading.”

He said they were also “ an absolute violation of free speech afforded to members of Parliament”  and that even if she believed the story to be true she provided not one shred of evidence.

“She was therefore wantonly reckless in her responsibility to provide accurate information to the House and seriously misinformed the House in a material way. Furthermore Mr. Speaker, the statements made by the Member were not in the national interest but constituted a vile personal attack on the Leader of the Opposition and served the sole purpose of bringing the House into serious public odium and disrepute. This must be a contempt of the House.”

Jack Warner

Jack Warner

Warner said the statements by the Tobago East parliamentarian were designed to bring the legislative body into “public odium, ridicule and disrepute”.

He said he was asking the Privilege Committee to recommend what action should be taken against Alleyne-Toppin, who is a member of the Tobago Organization of the People (TOP), one of the four partners in the coalition People’s Partnership government.

“Mr. Speaker in accordance with the relevant Standing Orders I ask that the Member for Tobago East be referred to the Privileges Committee of this House, not to determine whether a contempt has been committed but for the Committee to recommend appropriate action to be taken in relation to the Member’s repugnant statements.”

But the Speaker told legislators that he had only just received the motion prior to the sitting of the House and promised a ruling would be made at the next sitting of Parliament, which is now continuing to debate the motion of no confidence in Rowley.