Trinidad and Tobago: UNC constantly had scrutinized the role of duties of the current government. The UNC has criticized Faris Al-Rawi, Terrence Deyalsingh, Camille Robinson-Regis’s service. Consequently, their work for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Recently they have submitted a declaration regarding the changes in PNM:
The UNC congratulated the Political Leader and other Opposition MPs for the successful action yesterday.
The dramatic and necessary boycott of Parliament finally resulted in the Government adhering to the COVID-19 protocols that the PNM have flagrantly and brazenly violated. The House has now been thankfully adjourned.
This will provide an opportunity for sanitation and any other isolation and quarantine measures required under the Public Health Regulations.
This is precisely what the Opposition wished to highlight and remedy. We succeeded.
As with the previous Pepper Spray legislation and with the free vaccines from India, the Opposition has successfully got the Government to act in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
We have done so — and continue to do so — despite the Government’s many and persistent efforts to marginalise and weaken our Constitutional role.
Not surprisingly, the usual suspects — Faris Al-Rawi, Terrence Deyalsingh, Camille Robinson-Regis — have tried to deflect and bluster with their everyday lies, half-truths and innuendoes.
Al-Rawi lied to the Parliament, and the country, that “not one Member of the Opposition” informed the House about their absence. In reality, every one of our 19 MPs submitted their requests for Leave of Absence to the Speaker.
Afterwards, Faris admitted that he did receive notice that Opposition members would not be present.
To be clear, on 7 April, Opposition Chief Whip, David Lee, wrote to the Speaker seeking “insurance that all measures are being taken to ensure that Members who may have come into association with the Prime Minister, either primary or secondary, will adhere to the Health regulations to prevent any outbreak within our Parliament.” No response from the Speaker ever came.
After the long fruitless wait, giving the Speaker every opportunity to respond even at the last minute, the Opposition MPs decided to submit their notices. All procedures were duly followed.
Yet, following Al-Rawi’s suit, Terrence Deyalsingh ranted about “dereliction of duty”. But, ironically, the person most guilty of dereliction of duty was the Minister of Health himself. Typical of the PNM in general, he attempted to blame the Opposition for precisely his sin.
The Minister of Health failed to follow the regulations that he, Faris, Rowley, and Stuart have been hypocritically accusing the rest of the population. He ignored his duty to restrain, segregate and isolate those exposed to infection by the Prime Minister (including himself). He expected the Opposition to follow his irresponsibility and double standards. But we did not.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar was correct to highlight the overriding duty of care for the population which Parliamentarians have. This is the highest of all their responsibilities.
This duty of care is precisely what the PNM has refused to be guided by throughout this entire covid crisis, indeed, throughout their whole accursed time in government.
As far as the legislation before the House was concerned, Faris Al-Rawi had already studiously perverted Parliamentary democracy. He has adopted the devious process of amending specific bills to falsely claim that they only require to be passed with a simple majority to bypass the Opposition’s Constitutional role.
Even with the Opposition present in Parliament on Friday, the AG has engineered it to have no power in that House to defend the people’s Constitutional rights.
The bill would have passed even if we repeated our legitimate objections. The Opposition has raised its concerns over and over again, and the Government has unconstitutionally ignored them.
What the Government wished was the opportunity to lie on the Opposition and misrepresent our positions. Instead, their arguments were left bare, naked and exposed. They needed a bobolee to beat upon and to distract the population with.
In truth, however, Faris’s bypassing of the Opposition is much more than a dereliction of duty. It is the calculated refusal to adhere to the very Constitution which he has sworn to uphold. Previously with similarly flawed legislation, Kamla Persad-Bissessar personally took the matter to Court and had his unconstitutional Acts struck down. The Opposition will once again be called upon to do its duty in the face of this rogue Government.
In yet further dereliction of duty, remarkably, Government MP Camille Robinson-Regis deliberately showed contempt for the Speaker by disobeying the instruction to Members not to hold Press Conferences in the Red House while Parliament was in session. Camille, however, was in such a frenzy to pre-empt the Opposition with her gibberish that she wilfully disregarded the Speaker’s orders.
Once again, the Opposition will have to bring Robinson-Regis to order in fulfilment of its duty as our country’s pre-eminent protector of the Constitution.
Concerning the Deputy Commissioners of Police, the Opposition had no objections in principle to their appointments, and our presence would have did not affect.
The Opposition’s action was successful. Our more significant duty of care was fulfilled. We forced the Government to follow its own rules, about which it harangues and insults ordinary citizens daily.
The UNC will always ensure that our country’s laws will be equally applied to all, and UNC will always fight for the rights and well-being of Trinidad and Tobago.