August 22, 2014
NDP holds firm to non-cooperation pledge

The New Democratic Party’s pledge of non-cooperation with the Government was demonstrated in the House of Assembly, earlier this week.{{more}}

At a sitting of parliament on August 19, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace declined to nominate Opposition members to sit on select committees for two bills that were moved by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The first such bill was the Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Bill, 2014, which Gonsalves said is “an act to repeal and replace the United Nations Anti-terrorism Measures Act, chapter 183, with the intent of updating the law relating to combatting of terrorist financing and for incidental and connecting purposes.”

For that bill, the Prime Minister moved that it go to a select committee. He nominated, from the Government side: himself, Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan, Minister of Health Clayton Burgin, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, Senator Luke Browne, Senator Jomo Thomas.

When asked to make nominations from his side of the House, Eustace stood and said: “Mr Speaker, there shall be no nomination from the Opposition.”

A second bill, the Electronic Funds Transfer Bill 2014, was moved by Gonsalves as “an act to provide for the regulation of the transfer of money through electronic means and related matters.”

Once again, this bill was sent to a select committee, at which point the Prime Minister nominated himself and the Attorney General, Minister of National Reconciliation Maxwell Charles, Minister of Social Development Frederick Stephenson, Minister of Tourism Cecil Mckie and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Camillo Gonsalves.

“I don’t know whether the tactic of non-cooperation consists also with this one,” the Prime Minister said, after making his nominations.

When it was his turn to make nominations, Eustace said: “There are no nominees.”

During a march and rally on July 31, vice president of the NDP St Claire Leacock declared that the NDP will not be cooperating with any decision or action by the Government, unless elections are called.(BK)