Speaker blocks debate on murders, missing persons… KAMLA, CHARLES EJECTED

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Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Member of Parliament for Naparima, Rodney Charles, were ejected from Parliament on Friday afternoon.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Brigid Annisette-George, asked Persad-Bissessar to withdraw from the Chamber when she protested against the Speaker’s ruling not to allow a debate on the increase in murders and missing persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
When Charles supported his leader, he too, was ejected.
This prompted a walk-out from members of the Opposition, leaving only the Government MPs present.
Prior to the debate on the FATCA legislation, Persad-Bissessar sought leave of the House to debate an important matter on the adjournment.
She said the Government had failed to deal with the increase in murders and the number of persons missing in this country.
“Each day murders are committed with impunity, at a rate never before experienced in our country. This matter should be addressed urgently before more lives are lost,” the Opposition Leader added.
But Annisette-George was not convinced and ruled against the debate. Persad-Bissessar got up right away and protested the ruling. The Speaker did not get in a word before she invoked Standing Order 55 and asked Persad-Bissessar to withdraw from the Chamber. When Charles intervened, he too, was ejected.
This prompted all members of the Opposition to pack their things and head to the Office of the Leader of the Opposition for a press conference.
As the debate continued on the FATCA legislation, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the walkout by the Opposition was because the MPs did not want to debate the reciprocity of information under the legislation.
Speaking on the legislation, Al-Rawi said it was his belief that the Opposition was afraid of what the reciprocity of financial information would disclose.
The Government needs a three-fifths majority to pass this legislation.
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