October 28, 2016
Opposition has 13 questions down for answer in Parliament

For the first time since the general elections of December 9, 2015, the Opposition has submitted questions for which the Government must provide oral answers.

When Parliament sits today, five members of the Opposition will ask 13 questions of the Government.{{more}}

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace will ask two questions, the first requesting that the Prime Minister outline the Government’s fiscal situation as at August 31, 2016, compared with the similar period in 2015. The Opposition Leader will also ask the Minister of Agriculture to indicate the status of the banana rehabilitation programme for the 2,000 acres proposed by the Government for 2016, in response to the programme set out by the Opposition party to rehabilitate 1,000 acres of bananas.

Member for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock will ask three questions, one of which pertains to the Argyle International Airport and is directed at the Prime Minister. Among other things, he will ask when will the AIA be completed and operations commence; which airlines that currently operate in the Caribbean will fly into Argyle in 2016 and if the fuel storage plant is ready and operational to supply the large aircraft for international flights.

Senator Julian Ferdinand has submitted three questions for oral answer by the Prime Minister, one of which is whether Sir Louis Straker gave up his citizenship of the United States of America prior to being a candidate for the Unity Labour Party, as required by the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Senator Marcia Barnwell will also ask three questions, one directed at the Minister of Education in relation to the number of students who were expelled from secondary school for non-performance between 2005 and 2015. She will also ask the Minister of National Mobilization to explain why the New Domestic Violence Act 2015, which was enacted last year, is not yet in force. Her third question, which is directed to the Minister of Economic Planning, asks him to say why the Freedom of Information Act 2003 is not yet in force, after its enactment over eight years ago.

Parliamentary Representative for North Leeward Roland Matthews will also ask two questions.

After being sworn in on December 29, 2015 the NDP stayed away from Parliament, missing three consecutive meetings, until June 23, when they turned up to debate the Petrocaribe (Special Purpose) Fund Bill, 2016. Since then, the Opposition has turned up for sittings of the House, but have not submitted questions for oral answer until today’s meeting.

The Opposition’s absence was in protest of the results of the December 2015 general elections, which they say was marred by irregularities.