Camille: Opposition ‘playing games’ in Parliament
A shot of the Opposition Bench. © 2019 Office of the Parliament.
Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis has accused Opposition of wasting parliamentary time by being ill-prepared to respond to the debate on the budget.
In a statement, Robinson-Regis said the Opposition continues to show that they are underprepared for everything, and more so, for government.
She made reference to the premature end to the debate on the budget when no Opposition member rose to contribute to the debate when it was that bench’s turn.
She said Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar would understand parliamentary procedure if she was more present in the Parliament,
“It is clear that she does not understand how the parliament operates.
As is the custom, in any debate, the speakers participate alternatingly. When none of her members rose to speak when it was their turn the Speaker called upon the Minister of Finance who rose to his feet when it was obvious that the Opposition had no further speakers, none having risen,” Robinson-Regis said.
She said it was the Opposition’s lack of preparedness that resulted in none of them standing to speak.
She also criticised the Opposition’s use of the budget debate to make “unfounded” claims.
“Each opposition speaker, beginning with the leader, neglected to respond to the budget statement of the Minister of Finance, introduced outrageous fabrications and outright unfounded statements, starting with the presentation by the Opposition Leader of a manifesto based on fanciful imaginings.”
“The Opposition plays games with everything even with the people’s business in the Parliament. They were unprepared to participate in the debate and the Minister wound up same,” Robinson-Regis said.
The Leader of Government Business sought to remind Persad-Bissessar that a Minister of Government, including the Prime Minister may speak in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
She noted, however, that the Opposition Leader was absent from the Parliament on Wednesday, “providing no direction or leadership to her hapless team”, even as the examination of the budget continued with the Standing Finance Committee.