Jack: Withdraw censure motion

The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader spoke yesterday in the Lower House after a walkout of irate People’s National Movement (PNM) MPs.

He contrasted his boyhood admiration for yesteryear’s MPs such as Rudranath Capildeo to the indignity of yesterday’s motion.

“From March 26 to now — six weeks — and all we have spoken about to the nation — except for one private members day —- is the Member for Diego Martin West,” Warner hit. “We are not serving the nation.”

He said the emails are two years old, yet now just before the June 17 end of Parliament, the Government has brought a motion to suspend Dr Rowley from the Lower House. “Something has to be wrong,” he said avuncularly. “Where is the urgency, that we have to do this now, 42 days before the Parliament is due to be dissolved?”.

He challenged the assertion by Government Chief Whip, Dr Roodal Moonilal, that Parliament “cannot wait” and has a duty to act now. “But there is no way that Parliament has the ability to produce any evidential matter to say if Emailgate is right or wrong,” he said. “Is Parliament better qualified to investigate than the police? Take me out of that statement!”. Bemoaning scandals such as fake bloggers, the hacking of email accounts and the Government not inviting him to a highway opening in his constituency, Warner said politicians have to lift the bar.

He queried the intent of the censure motion.

“Is this an attempt to demonise the Member for Diego Martin West? To what avail? Is this an attempt to make the Opposition headless? To what avail?”.

Warner admitted the reality that despite anything he says, the Government has the requisite number of votes to carry their motion to suspend Dr Rowley.

“If that happens to the motion to suspend the Leader of the Opposition flippantly, then what stops them from moving a motion, to suspend every Member?

“Mr Speaker, under your watch this is taking place. It is a bad precedent.”

Repeating his point that yesteryear the House “once meant something”, he urged that someone quietly tell Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that the motion is not right, but it could racially polarise the population.

“It is wrong to do what we are doing here today,” he appealed.

“It seems to be a sinister move to try to put the Member for Diego Martin West in a bad light, hoping to score cheap political points.”

Warner said that within the next six to eight weeks the country will have a general election upon which Dr Rowley will either rise or fall. He bemoaned the motion as the latest example of the House talking to the Opposition’s empty seats week after week. “We are not doing this country any good,” he advised. “Please withdraw it in the national interest,” he added.


"Jack: Withdraw censure motion"

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