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National Assembly goes into Debate to keep Rohee quiet – 22nd Nov 2012

The National Assembly went in to overdrive today, as the political parties pulled out their top guns to debate whether the opposition could move before the House, a motion that would effectively gag the Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee.

The Government held firm to its view that the House could not go down in that direction with Government Chief whip, Gail Teixiera, declaring that to do so would be to turn the House into a mad house.

Opposition Members of Parliament held their own and used their majority to set aside the day’s standing order and move up the opposition leader’s motion on the Rohee gag to proceed.

The Speaker for his part said, before the National Assembly got under-way today, he tried to reach out to the Government and the opposition and encourage them to send the issue to the committee of Privileges. His efforts failed.

Using their majority, the opposition was able to get past the very first hurdle as the motion was brought up for debate but then the Government made some more objections and the legal minds clashed again. The Attorney General does not believe the motion ought to be proceeded with, but the opposition’s legal mind, Basil Williams, offered a different opinion as expected.

Up to news time, the debate was going on with both sides sticking to their positions. The opposition intend to use their majority to ensure that the Minister is not allowed to speak in the National Assembly, under his current portfolio of Home Affairs. In July, a no confidence motion was passed against the Minister, but the President and Government said, they were standing by the Ministers side and would not ask him to resign. That paved the way for the opposition deciding that they would turn to their majority in the Assembly to ensure Rohee stays quiet.

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