While no period was given for Manning’s suspension, Parliament is due to be prorogued on June 17 and this means that his suspension ends when the current parliamentary session.
Section 67 (2) of the Constitution states that a session of each House of Parliament lasts for a maximum of one year. When a session ends, all matters before the Parliament also end and this includes the suspension of parliamentarians from either the House of Representatives or the Senate. This means that Manning will return to the House when the new parliamentary session begins sometime between June and December.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said he had nothing further to say about Manning’s suspension as he said all that he wanted to during debate on the motion Monday, to approve the committee’s report.
With Manning’s matter dealt with, the committee will now turn its attention to privilege matters concerning Sport Minister Anil Roberts and Rowley. Roberts’ matter was the next one to be dealt with by the committee after Manning’s. Yesterday, the minister said he was prepared to present himself forthwith. Rowley has pledged that he would cooperate with the committee with respect to his matter. The committee will have approximately three weeks to address both Roberts and Rowley’s matters. There is no indication as to how soon the committee will meet.
Opposition Chief Whip Marlene McDonald said she was not aware that anything could be done to revoke Manning’s suspension and no discussion had taken place on this matter. PNM general secretary Ashton Forde said there had been no discussions at the party level about Manning’s suspension but he expects it would be raised at the party’s General Council meeting on Saturday.