Yesterday’s sitting was the first for the House since the controversial Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act was repealed on September 12 last. Volney, who is now a government backbencher without portfolio, was reassigned to sit directly behind the seat assigned to San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning in the Parliament Chamber.
Prior to his dismissal as Justice Minister on September 20, Volney, who is the St Joseph MP, sat directly behind the PM’s chair.
At the start of yesterday’s sitting, Speaker Wade Mark announced that he had granted Volney leave from the sitting, but gave no indication as to the reason why Volney asked to be excused from the sitting.
Manning, has been granted leave from Parliament, from July 15 to October 24, to recuperate from a stroke he suffered on January 23 last. He also missed yesterday’s sitting.
Volney’s successor Christlyn Moore and Anand Ramlogan were present in the Parliament Chamber to listen to Howai’s presentation.
Moore will be sworn in as a government senator when the Senate sits to debate the 2013 Budget later this month.
Ramlogan will be the subject of a motion of censure which Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley will raise in the House on the last Friday in October.
Mark also announced he granted former Finance (now Foreign Affairs) Minister Winston Dookeran leave from sittings of the House from September 22 to October 2, as Dookeran is overseas.
Prior to the presentation of the Budget, PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Rowley and Mark made congratulatory responses to letters from the Canadian and Jamaican parliaments praising TT on its 50th anniversary of Independence.