Standing Up For the People
With the Parliamentary session currently in recess, it is clear that the Kamla Persad Bissessar-led bench has delivered one of its strongest Parliamentary performances in the last ten months. The Opposition, comprising many young MPs showed grit and character as they tabled an unprecedented four Motions of No Confidence in Senior Ministers. Their goal? To ensure accountability, transparency and representation to the people of this nation. With Rowley’s ‘leadership’ and total abdication of responsibility adding to the burdens of a population facing darkness and uncertainty from the pandemic, the Leader of the Opposition has acted. Rallying her eighteen Members of Parliament and six Senators to act as the People’s Government in Parliament.
They demanded social relief, fought for answers on the economy and stood up for the protection of citizens and that of our national assets.
Why There is No-Confidence in These MPs
The Opposition was adamant on doing its duty. They simply would not sit by and allow the massive neglect and chaos of the Rowley administration to continue unchecked. With the economy contracting each month, the energy sector facing the worst crisis it has ever seen, rampant crime still prevalent and the government failing in managing its COVID-19 response, the Opposition was justified in tabling Motions of No Confidence in the Ministers of Finance, Energy, National Security and Health. These motions were effective as out of the four motions brought, only the motion against the Minister of National Security was voted down by the Government.
The Parliament and more specifically the Government has failed to vote to show any confidence in its Ministers of Health, Finance and Energy as the motions remain on the Order paper.
In December 2020 Opposition Members of Parliament battled to save national assets owned by the people of this nation from the threat of being sold off to “friends and financiers” as this government gutted the Procurement Act. While they did all that was possible, they betrayed the nation by using a simple majority to pass the bill. The Opposition continues its fight outside the Parliament walls to protect state assets such as our refinery.
From the Anti-Gang Bill to the Gambling bill, the Opposition stood on the side of citizens’ rights, protection of our Constitution and in the best interest of our citizens. From debating the budget to the Cariforum Bill, Opposition MPs have demanded more jobs, more action on the economy and more projects to deliver prosperity. The Opposition has given a voice to every burdened citizen of this nation as week after week MPs have utilised urgent questions, Prime Minister’s Questions and Matters on the Adjournment to highlight the high unemployment, the poor maintenance of roads, shortage of water as well as seek answers on the millions of wasted taxpayers’ dollars.
To really understand the strength and courage of our Opposition is to understand that like no other Opposition in the Westminster system, they have fallen victim to the most biased procedures within the House. Many times, they have been wrongfully accused of repetition while speaking, had their questions rejected, been insulted without protection and even prevented from speaking. Yet, they have persisted because they understand that the future of our nation is at stake.
They have shown that they will not be subject to this unfairness as we have seen them boldly walk out and abstain from Parliamentary sittings within this session, as they stand up for democracy.
In true fighting style, they wrapped up the session by filing a Motion of No confidence in the Speaker, demonstrating that nothing will stand in the way of democracy and their ability to demand development for our nation.