PORT OF SPAIN — The Prime Minister made mas as she wound up the debate on the no-confidence motion yesterday, with the expected outcome of a resounding defeat of Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley’s motion of no confidence in her Government. The vote was 26 against, none in favour.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was one of the persons accused of wrong-doing in the e-mails, looked fearless and commanding as she launched her counter-attack. She labelled Rowley the “great deceiver” and the e-mails “the great hoax”, to table-thumping endorsement from her troops.
The Prime Minister had a clear stage on which to parade as the Opposition walked out of the Chamber as soon as she rose to speak. They did not even return to vote on their own motion. They were protesting her decision to wind up the debate and not allow the mover, Rowley, to do the honours. But according to the Standing Orders, the Prime Minister was perfectly entitled to enter the debate at the end if she so chose. As People’s National Movement MPs marched out, Government members booed, thundering: “Don’t come back.”
At the end of it all, Rowley was referred to the Privileges Committee. The Prime Minister, who moved the motion of privilege, said Rowley abused the privilege of Parliament to mislead the House, that he was reckless and brought the House into ridicule and disrepute.
House Speaker Wade Mark did not defer his ruling as he usually does when such matters are brought for his consideration. “I am of the view that a prima facie case of contempt has been made out,” he stated.
During her contribution, the Prime Minister resisted calls for what Rowley and Volney called an “independent” investigation and maintained her decision to have the investigation spearheaded by the local police. (Express)