Tuesday 18 June, 2019

Drama in Parliament: Indarsingh put out as PM gets grilled on Smith

Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh was ejected from the Parliament Chamber on Friday, as the Prime Minister faced questions from the Opposition on the dismissal of Darryl Smith.

Indarsingh was ordered to leave the Parliament Chamber for gross disorder, after he along with other Opposition MP’s protested during the Prime’s Minister response to questions relating to a $150,000 settlement between the Sport Ministry and a former employee.

The Prime Minister was interrupted as he responded to a question by Oropouche East MP Dr. Roodal Moonilal if any steps will be taken to retrieve the monies spent on the settlement.

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“Let me just make something very clear to my colleagues on the other side, that this matter is no more urgent than the allegations made when you were in government,” he responded.

However, Rowley’s response did not sit well with the Opposition MPs.

Moonilal was heard saying that this was not the issue, with several other MP’s on the Opposition bench protesting, even as the Prime Minister continued speaking.

“Don’t play no more holier than thou for me,” Rowley added.

The Opposition MPs continued their protest, with the House Speaker calling for order.

“Member for Couva South, Member for Couva South I would not tolerate such outbursts.”

However, as she called on the Prime Minister to continue his response, Indarsingh persisted.

The Speaker again cautioned the Couva South, advising him to withdraw his statement.

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The Prime Minister was then allowed to continue his response.

Rowley said the issue of the $150, 000 settlement was as a result of a wrongful dismissal and had nothing to do with allegations of sexual harassment.

He also added that the issue of sexual harassment did not start with his government.

“So don’t come play holier than thou for me,” Rowley repeated.

This comment prompted an uproar by Opposition MP’s with the House Speaker on her feet again warning that she would not tolerate such behaviour in the Parliament Chamber.

“I will not tolerate all this shouting as though we are in a market,” she said.

Indarsingh was again heard making a comment, with Government MP’s urging that he withdraw the statement, prompting the Speaker to invite him to leave the Chamber.

The Opposition MP’s protested this, asking on which Standing Order she made the call.

“Having called upon you at least three times to apologize and also to take a walk and come back and control yourself, I now deem your conduct to amount to gross disorder and I’m asking you to withdraw immediately from the chamber for the rest of today’s sitting.”



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