Opposition walks out as Manickchand rises to speak
The combined opposition parties this afternoon walked out of the National Assembly as Education Minister Priya Manickchand got up to make her presentation but she rallied on with her speech to loud support from her government colleagues.
Chief Whip Amna Ally was the only person from the opposition who remained in the House. The opposition parties are protesting against the minister demanding that she apologise to the now former parliamentarian Jaipaul Sharma for comments she made in connection to his father facing statuary rape charges.
Last Friday APNU had created a ruckus preventing the minister from making her presentation and forcing Speaker Raphael Trotman to adjourn the sitting. Following her comment last Tuesday Trotman had called on Manickchand to apologise, she refused and as a result he banned her from speaking during the debate. However, the ban was lifted the following day after the minister made a statement indicating that she meant no disrespect to the Speaker nor was the intention to interrupt APNU’s Volda Lawrence who was speaking when she made the comment.
Sharma has since resigned saying that he did not want his father’s legal woes to hurt the partnership. He said it was not the first time the minister made mention of the issue. He said the minister should apologise to him as it was him and not his father who was in the House.