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Gopee-Scoon withdraws Manning’s motion
Opposition MP Paula Gopee-Scoon has withdrawn a private motion she filed in Parliament intended to allow former prime minister Patrick Manning legal representation before the Committee of Privileges. In her application dated February 24, 2011, Gopee-Scoon requested that Parliament gives Manning “the right to legal representation before the Committee, including having his legal representative address the Committee and examine witness before the Committee on his behalf.” Manning was referred to the Committee for investigation and report after he made certain comments about the private residence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar during the debate on the Interception of Communications Bill in November last year.
The Committee is to determine whether his statement was in contempt of the Parliament. And on Friday, in a one-line letter to the Clerk of the House Jacqui Sampson, the former foreign affairs minister said she withdrew her motion. Contacted for comment, Gopee-Scoon denied that the motion was withdrawn because it failed to get support in the PNM in caucus. Gopee-Scoon said the matter was never discussed in caucus. She added that she was not aware of any formal PNM position on the matter. She explained it was withdrawn because she did not want to prejudice any future action that may be taken.
Later in the sitting, Housing and the Environment Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox clashed over remarks he made about PNM complaints of not being given adequate eats and drinks on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Cox rose in protest and House Speaker Wade Mark later ruled that there be no more talk about the issue. Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Winston Peters, in a statement in the House, later apologised for the inconveniences caused and said it would not recur. Government and Opposition MPs thumped their desks in support.
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