The Committee Stage of the The Electronic Payments into and out of Court (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on Wednesday. Photo: T&T Parliament
By Sue-Ann Wayow
OPPOSITION Members of Parliament have once again boycotted the Lower House and therefore the questions in the oral answer item on the order paper could not be done.
The announcement was made by Speaker of the House of Representatives Brigid Annisette-George who said the 18 questions have now lapsed.
Since the questions for oral answer did not take place, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi went straight into the second reading of the Electronic Payments into and out of (Court) (Amendment) Bill. He also wished the Muslim community blessings on the start of their holy period of fasting in the month of Ramadan.
Al-Rawi said on Tuesday after the Senate, he received correspondence from the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago, a letter which he welcomed and responded to “ but there was nothing concerning the bill itself.”
He said, “We are within safe parameters to consider this law as a whole and in those circumstances, I beg to move.”
A press statement issued by Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar stated that Covid-19 safety concerns were yet to be addressed especially after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley contracted the virus and was currently in quarantine. Some 35 citizens also in quarantine in Tobago as a result of being primary and secondary contacts of the prime minister.
She added that to date, there was still uncertainty as to how many members of the House of Representatives have been primary or secondary contacts of the prime minister.
The Opposition stated, “Today, as the Government announces new lockdown measures to try and stem the spike in positive cases, one has to wonder why the Government refuses to subject Parliament to the same standards as the rest of the nation. Why is the government applying one rule for citizens and another rule for themselves?”
The UNC had boycotted the Lower House last Friday and on Tuesday the UNC senators took similar action for the same reasons in the Senate.