"Foolishness and a waste of time."That was how People's National Movement MP Colm Imbert dismissed government's no-confidence motion against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley during yesterday's debate on the motion. Imbert was replying to People's Partnership (PP) House Leader Dr Roodal Moonilal's piloting of the motion in Parliament.Imbert later had to withdraw the word "foolish" on House Speaker Wade Mark's request because it was deemed unparliamentary language.
Imbert said Moonilal's statement was childish and the Parliament was wasting time on the motion while important matters such as Monday's gridlock needed to be examined.He dismissed Moonilal's points about Rowley on issues dating back to 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, saying they were all in the past and Rowley wasn't Opposition Leader then. He said Rowley was exonerated in the Landate and Uff enquiries, and the One Woodbrook Place Apartment project–where Rowley was said to have acquired an apartment–was initiated under the then UNC government.
Imbert said that such motions were not done save in Australia in 1912. He read out records of the Australian Parliament from 1912, when he said the Speaker then threw out such a motion, deeming it frivolous and out of order. He said, "That was Speaker." When PP MPs accused him of casting aspersions on House Speaker Mark, and Mark queried if Imbert was challenging the motion which he'd approved for debate, Imbert denied he was casting aspersions on Mark.
He said: "I'm talking about the precedent of the motion, I'm not casting aspersions on you (Mark)...I'm talking about all of you, is the Government playing the fool."Imbert then said it was the Prime Minister who had nominated David West to head the Police Complaints Authority and the PP had "manipulated facts" to say Rowley had. Throughout Imbert's contribution he appealed to Mark to get PP MPs–especially the Prime Minister–to be quiet while he spoke.
Roadblock motion denied
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday that Monday's simultaneous police roadblocks were an illegal use of power and authority by police now engaged in wage negotiations.He did so in proposing a motion to be debated in Parliament on the action by police. He said there was the likelihood that the police would repeat the events of Monday, which would see the collapse of the national security system of T&T.
Rowley said the motion was urgently required, since executive members of the police association had said the road blocks were previously scheduled. He said anything like this, short of in a state of emergency, was an abrogation of authority and abuse of power by the state's agents, making the national security system vulnerable to abuse.
He voiced concern about the situation exposing issues within the national security system, Special Branch, National Operations Centre, SSA and National Security Council, adding if the situation recurred it would result in huge losses, leaving thousands stranded again. House Speaker Wade Mark said the motion didn't qualify under Standing Order 17, under which it was filed, but could be refiled under another standing order.