Trinidad: Second opposition MP thrown out of parliament in two weeks

Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika leaves the chamber after he was told to leave by President of the Senate, Christine Kangaloo during the sitting of Senate.

(Trinidad Guardian) For the sec­ond week in a row, an Op­po­si­tion Par­lia­men­tar­i­an—this time a Sen­a­tor—was put out of the Par­lia­ment cham­ber.

Last week it was UNC MP Bar­ry Padarath who was evict­ed from the Par­lia­ment cham­ber by the House Speak­er for in­sist­ing on rais­ing wa­ter short­age in his con­stituen­cy. Yes­ter­day it was Op­po­si­tion sen­a­tor Tahar­qa Obi­ka for an of­fen­sive re­mark.

The sit­u­a­tion oc­curred when Obi­ka asked For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Den­nis Moses about Ugan­dan na­tion­als who were ter­mi­nat­ed from T&T’s High Com­mis­sion in Ugan­da and if they were paid ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits in ac­cor­dance with their terms and con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment.

Moses said eight Ugan­dan na­tion­als were ter­mi­nat­ed from the High Com­mis­sion and the lo­cal­ly re­cruit­ed staff were paid ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits ac­cord­ing to con­tract. Obi­ka probed on whether there had been com­plaints—from Ugan­da—or any per­son—on the is­sue. Moses ducked re­ply­ing, on­ly say­ing Gov­ern­ment had met all its oblig­a­tions. Obi­ka at­tempt­ed to ask fur­ther queries to get more in­for­ma­tion, but wasn’t al­lowed by the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent .

Obi­ka mut­tered in French in Moses’ di­rec­tion that he was a cat­a­stro­phe. Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Chris­tine Kan­ga­loo, how­ev­er said, “I heard that.” She called on him to leave the Cham­ber un­til 2.30 pm. Obi­ka packed up and left, but re­turned at 3 pm for de­bate on a bill.

Al­so yes­ter­day on oth­er ter­mi­na­tion is­sues, Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan replied to ques­tions about the ra­tio­nale for the re­cent dis­missal of 13 work­ers em­ployed to pro­vide con­ces­sion­aire ser­vices on the Galleons Pas­sage. He said they were em­ployed by Nid­co through a con­trac­tor to ser­vice pas­sen­gers on the Galleons Pas­sage.

He said Nid­co hired the in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor on an in­ter­im ba­sis to pro­vide ser­vices for the boat. He said any de­ci­sion by the con­trac­tor re­gard­ing em­ploy­ment or ter­mi­na­tion of its staff re­mains be­tween the con­trac­tors and work­ers.

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