Agreement to postpone Privileges Committee meeting based on Speaker’s decision

-Backer

APNU Member of Parliament Deborah Backer has said that the coalition’s support for the postponement of the Committee of Privileges meeting to address the powers of the House in relation to preventing embattled Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee from speaking was in keeping with an earlier decision by Speaker Raphael Trotman.

“We were in favour either way,” she said in a comment to this newspaper on Friday. “If you go back slightly… there was a motion on the floor and the Speaker ruled that he would not allow the motion to proceed but that he would send it to the Committee of Privileges for it to determine what powers the House has vis-à-vis Rohee and his speaking and not speaking,” Backer explained.

A section of the audience at the Muslim Youth League’s Milaud un Nabi (a celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad [SAWS]) at the Umana Yana yesterday. The evening featured a lecture, singing of Qaseedas and Gazals. (Photo by Arian Browne)

A section of the audience at the Muslim Youth League’s Milaud un Nabi (a celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad [SAWS]) at the Umana Yana yesterday. The evening featured a lecture, singing of Qaseedas and Gazals. (Photo by Arian Browne)

“Subsequently the Speaker announced that the Committee of Privileges will not sit once the matter is in court. We were, therefore, very surprised when we got a notice to attend the meeting. As we speak today, the court case is still ongoing,” she added.

“We asked the Speaker what the position is because our understanding is that ‘your decision is that once the High Court matter is pending the Committee of Privileges will not sit. Are you now changing this ruling? If you are not then I don’t think that we could properly sit,’” she said.

Backer pointed out that APNU and the PPP/C had the same position on the matter. “What changed was the Speaker’s position since he said not until the court matter finished, then he decided that we would still  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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