You are here
Ramadhar promoted to front bench
Congress of the People leader Prakash Ramadhar has been “promoted” to the front bench in Parliament and Vernella Alleyne-Toppin has been correspondingly shifted from the front to the Government’s back bench. New seating arrangements were in force at yesterday’s resumption of the Lower House, the first session where MPs took up their seats. Several changes now apply following the Cabinet reshuffle in June.
Yesterday Ramadhar took up his new position for the first time as the seventh in line on the People’s Partnership’s front bench. Others ahead of Ramadhar are—starting at the front bench— PP House Leader Roodal Moonilal, the Prime Minister, MPs Jack Warner, Errol Mc Leod, and Chandresh Sharma. After Ramadhar on the front bench are MPs Tim Gopeesingh, Winston Peters, Suruj Rambachan and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan.
Alleyne-Toppin was demoted from Minister of Tobago Affairs to Minister in the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of the People. She previously held a front bench seat. She now sits on the PP back bench behind the Opposition row, as fourth from the end. Also on that row are other ministers of state— Jairam Seemungal, Collin Partap, Ramona Ramdial, Stacy Roopnarine and Rodger Samuel.
Lincoln Douglas, previously minister of state and now Arts and Multiculturalism Minister, was shifted from the PP back bench (behind the Opposition) to the PP’s back bench behind the Government front row. MP Nela Khan who was recently elevated to deputy House Speaker, has also been shifted from the PP back bench behind the Opposition to the PP back bench behind the Government front row.
Parliament pays tribute to former MP Ramnath
Parliamentarians need to take a step back from their hectic schedules and monitor their health needs, PNM Chief Whip Marlene McDonald said yesterday. McDonald made the statement in paying tribute to deceased former MP Kelvin Ramnath at yesterday’s resumption of the House of Representatives. Following tributes, MPs also observed a minute’s silence to mark the passing of their colleague who died suddenly a month ago.
PNM chief whip McDonald said she had not known Ramnath very well, but interacting with him since 2007 taught her that he was an articulate debater and a witty person. She said she had treasured the moments she spent with Ramnath in the Parliament. McDonald said his passing should serve as a lesson to all MPs that it was very important to look after their health. She said their work can be stressful and MPs had to divide time between their constituency, ministry and family.
Her statement on that issue was later endorsed by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. PP House leader Roodal Moonilal who served with Ramnath in the UNC recounted Ramnath’s political history since 1976, from Couva South MP to NAR Energy and Public Utilities Minister and eventually as a UNC foundation member. Moonilal said Ramnath was Opposition chief whip in 1991 and was also a temporary senator before returning as Couva South MP in 2002 and 2007.
Moonilal said Ramnath will be remembered as a frontline debater and a bright light in the Parliament, proficient in energy and environmental matters. He was also known for his wit, his humour and tenacity in defending the underdog and victims of oppression and injustice. He noted Ramnath’s work in the petroleum sector as an employee of former Trintoc and Petrotrin before the PP appointed him to the Environmental Management Agency where he was chairman until his passing.
“He was a great friend and colleague and we’ll truly miss him,” Moonilal added. House Speaker Wade Mark said Ramnath was committed to his politics and was a resilient person. “He endured and never surrendered, he served T&T well and stood up to be counted,” Mark said.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.