Speaking on the issue after he addressed a workshop at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain, Moonilal said Warner, who is currently out of the country, met Manning in Latin America and conveyed the Parliament’s decision.
“Mr Warner saw him briefly somewhere between Panama and Mexico and I asked Mr Warner to extend our best wishes to him and to indicate the outcome of the proceedings and that he can take as much time as he needs in Cuba,” Moonilal said.
Manning was suspended from the House of Representatives, with immediate effect, on Monday night, after 25 Government members approved a report by the Privileges Committee which found him guilty of contempt of Parliament. Manning was absent from Monday’s sitting as he flew to Cuba for a medical check-up.
Moonilal said he found it “suspicious” that Opposition members of the Privileges Committee did not submit a minority report to the Committee, where their decisions would have been placed on record.
“I am left to believe now, if those members of the Opposition actually supported the report and not submitting a minority report was their way of abstaining, rather than saying yes or no. Even now, there is no statement in writing to tell of their view,” Moonilal said.
However, he admitted that the submission of the minority report would not have affected the outcome of the committee’s decision. Moonilal also assured constituents of San Fernando East that they will have a voice in the Parliament, as he was willing to provide the necessary representation while Manning is absent on suspension.
He noted that the suspension was not indefinite, as it covers only one month which is the remaining time before the Parliamentary session ends in June 17. “I am also a constituent of San Fernando East, and if need be, I am willing to spend half of a day in San Fernando East to meet constituents and seek to represent them as best I could,” Moonilal said.
He also assured all employees of the San Fernando East constituency office that they will continue to receive salaries in the absence of Manning, as they carry out their duties as usual.
Moonilal also said he will deliver a copy of the committee’s report to the chairman of the San Fernando East constituency, “so that they can better understand the frustration the committee felt in contacting Manning, and allowing him to be heard.”