Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar should apologise to President Paula-Mae Weekes for incorrectly claiming no notification was sent to Parliament by the President on a new Police Service Commission member, says Camille Robinson-Regis, Leader of Government Business in the Lower House.
Commenting on the Opposition’s claim, which the Office of President rebutted yesterday, Robinson-Regis said what T&T has, “... Is nothing more than a leader who does not take her role seriously and is disrespectful to those in authority—Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC is guilty of dereliction of duty.”
Robinson-Regis accused Persad-Bissessar of only reading “...ill-prepared, pointless speeches and trying to hinder the Parliamentary agenda. She neglects Parliament and all responsibilities that come with her office.”
Accusing Persad-Bissessar of being inept, Robinson-Regis said on June 10, 2020, the President’s notification to Parliament for the appointment of Vincel Edwards as a PSC member was received by the Clerk of House.
“The President, as is required by the Constitution, indicated quite clearly in the notification she had consulted both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. On the Order Paper of Friday, July 3, 2020, the last sitting of the 11th Parliament, there was the Motion to Confirm Mr Edwards. With the general election looming the motion lapsed. If the Opposition Leader would read the Standing Orders, she would know a motion could only be returned to the Order Paper on the instruction of the Leader of the House.”
Robinson-Regis added, “On September 15, 2021, I gave the Clerk of the House the instruction that the notification should appear on the next Order Paper. The Lower House has not reconvened a sitting since that instruction was given to the Clerk of the House. With lack of parliamentary and legal experience on the other side, I, therefore, think it may be necessary to say that the notification continues to remain valid until dispensed.”
Robinson-Regis said it is still a notification before Parliament and as such is, therefore, still valid.
“It will remain pending until it is complete then it will return to the President’s House for her attention,’’ Robinson-Regis said.
“Consequently, for the Opposition Leader to claim that with respect to appointing a commission member there is nothing before the Parliament, is to show how disconnected she is from what goes on at the Parliament, but what is worse, to accuse the President of not consulting her, as required by the Constitution, is quite another matter and clearly shows Mrs Persad-Bissessar’s incompetence, and I question her relationship with the truth.”
She added, “It appears Kamla Persad-Bissessar should have attended a tea party rather than a cocktail party prior to sending out her last statement to the media accusing Her Excellency of being less than honest. I trust that upon sober reflection, Mrs Persad-Bissessar will apologise to Her Excellency and the nation.”