Opposition mocks Parliament
March 24, 2005

Opposition mocks Parliament

Despite the accusations made by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves that “the opposition is not serious about the people’s business” by being absent from the House of Assembly the New Democratic Party (NDP) staged their Mock Parliament at their headquarters Tuesday. {{more}}

The opposition members observed all the conduct associated with parliament, including the NDP symbol, the Key as the Mace, former educator turned lawyer McCauley Peters as the Speaker of the House, a Clerk and empty seats on the opposite side with the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) members’ seats vacant.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace led the debate stating that reforming the constitution was good. He stated that when something is beneficial for this country, no matter where it comes from, he would support it. He however questioned the sincerity of the Government and accused them of “fiddling with the enumeration exercise under the existing constitution.”

Eustace noted that under Section Forty of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) “the requirement in Section 34(2) of the Public Service Commission must consult with the Prime Minister before appointing a Supervisor of Election, should be abolished.”

He stated that the CRC is looking to remove this law because they are concerned about the independence of that enumeration committee, but he charged that the Prime Minister is trying to control the process. Eustace noted that this is a similar action to when he tried to control the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Opposition Leader pointed out that while the enumeration process is being carried out, the Boundaries Commission is also meeting and may change some of the very constituencies that persons have already registered in. He argued that the purpose of the exercise would be defeated if one process destroys the other.

Eustace noted that he has written to the regional and international media and organizations to ensure that this meddling in the electoral process ceases.

The NDP’s Mock Parliament continued with contributions from Opposition Members of Parliament Dr. Godwin Friday, Terrance Ollivierre and Senators Gerald Shallow and St. Claire Leacock.

The proceedings were conducted before a packed NDP headquarters and were broadcast live on Nice Radio. The Mock Parliament wrapped up after midday.