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UNC duo object to ‘ambush’
Two Opposition MPs who sat as members of a Special Select Committee (SSC) to obtain information utilised by the Police Service Commission (PSC) in the selection of candidates for the positions of commissioner of police and deputy police commissioner claimed they were “ambushed,” after Government committee members yesterday laid a final report in Parliament which they did not see.
Instead, MPs Ganga Singh and Dr Roodal Moonilal opted to compile an eight page-minority report dated April 27, which they submitted to the House.
As a result of not being privy to the report, Moonilal and Singh intend to write House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George and the Clerk of the House about the issue.
During a press conference yesterday, however, SSC chairman Fitzgerald Hinds raised questions about both MPs not affixing their signatures to the 41-page report but handing over a minority report which would have divergent views to the final report.
“As a committee, we were quite shocked and in my case I was horrified because of all of my noble and approaches to accommodate all views and not having heard one word from my two colleagues about a minority report, we were all shocked and I am personally horrified and affronted at the fact that they ran sheepishly and worst, behind our backs and submitted a minority report.”
Hinds said Singh and Moonilal had breached all ethics and showed no loyalty.
SSC members Randall Mitchell and Nicole Olivierre also expressed similar sentiments to Hinds, saying they too were taken by surprise at Moonilal and Singh’s actions, as there were no major disagreements on both sides, they having worked late on Thursday night to get the report prepared.
“It leaves me to wonder if they are politicising this very important and serious work of the committee in a matter before us with the appointment of a commissioner…a very serious issue in T&T, recognising the role of the commissioner of police in law enforcement and maintaining law and order in the land,” Olivierre said.
But Singh said according to Standing Orders 114, members ought to have sight of a report before the committee makes a conclusion.
“It’s is clear that it was an attempt to ambush the Opposition members of the committee,” Singh said.
Throughout meetings, Singh said Hinds had indicated that if they did not agree on matters they could compile a minority report, which was what they did. The minority report indicates their thoughts on the selection process of the PSC.
“Where ever you saw there was disagreement, we thought we owed it as a duty to the country to tell them our sentiments and not be circumscribed in any way,” Singh said.
Moonilal said it was unheard of that you can lay a report in Parliament and members of the committee not see its content.
“I was in shock when Minister Hinds got up to lay this report today in the House. I thought it was another report. We see this as a wider undermining of the Parliament,” Moonilal said.
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