Last update: 11-Dec-2013 8:26 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Lengthy sittings should be exception not norm
Marathon sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate take place regularly, with many sessions wrapping up in the wee hours of the next morning, after starting at 1.30 pm or, in some cases, as early as 10 am the previous day.
The sitting of last Tuesday into Wednesday was one such. That session dealt with the Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2013, a significant piece of legislation which changes the number of aldermen elected to a municipal corporation and provides for their election by proportional representation. There were strong views on all sides, expressed in many of the contributions from the Government, Opposition and Independent benches.
As a result, the session went on for more than 13 hours, with the committee stage starting after 2 o’clock the next morning and the actual vote at 3.13 am. Although it required only a simple majority, the absence of voice votes from all but the government benches and the failure to call for a division continues to be a matter of public discussion and concern.
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