Friday 21 February, 2020

Parliament mix-up? PM challenges Moonilal to meet him on the pavement

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in Parliament this afternoon challenged Oropouche East MP Dr. Roodal Moonilal to ‘meet him outside on the pavement’.

The Prime Minister issued the challenge in response to a question from the Opposition MP relating to La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie.

Moonilal asked, “Could the Prime Minister indicate the whether it’s the intention of the party he leads to help Maxie Cuffie rather than the taxpayers?”

Rowley failed to respond immediately prompting House Speaker Bridgid-Annisette-George to call on him several times for an answer.

However, when he did respond it appeared as though he did not hear the question correctly and challenged Moonilal to ‘meet him on the pavement’.

“If my colleague from Oropouche East wants to talk about party elites, I’ll meet him outside on the pavement,” the Prime Minister responded.

The Opposition MPs looked on as the Prime Minister appeared to attempt to walk out with the House Speaker urging for the proceedings to continue.

Earlier, Rowley was grilled by Opposition MPs on Minister Cuffie.

The Prime Minister was asked by Princes Town MP Barry Padarath if the Minister of Public Administration and Communications continues to receive the salary of a cabinet minister indefinitely, seeing that there is no date of return to his ministerial portfolio.

“It is common knowledge that Minister Maxie Cuffie is currently undertaking medical attention, as the person who has appointed him to the cabinet I have taken no action to as of day to change the terms and conditions of a minister of government.”

Padarath also asked if he agreed that it was unlawful and unethical for Cuffie to continue receiving salary indefinitely for work not being done.

Opposition MP Dr. Fuad Khan then asked if there was any truth to claims that Cuffie was being denied additional assistance by the government.

The question came after Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young yesterday revealed that Cuffie requires more surgery.

Young told reporters that a request was made for additional funds.

The Prime Minister in response reaffirmed that that a decision was taken to provide Minister Cuffie with assistance to a certain limit.

To date government has spent $2.5M on the MP’s medical bills.


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