APNU+AFC MPs vote against $800M for Amerindian development, other funding
Twenty-five APNU+AFC Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday afternoon voted against over $820 million allocated in the National 2020 Budget for Amerindian development.
The coalition MPs were at the time protesting the Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir’s refusal to allow any scrutiny of the allocation.
They failed to succeed in their bid to vote down the allocations with 32 Government MPs and one Opposition MP voting in favour of the allocation; the Opposition MP was Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman.
Two MPs – Two MPs – David Patterson and Khemraj Ramjattan – abstained from voting.
The disagreement arose when Speaker Nadir told the Committee of Supply while considering the estimates of expenditure that he could not allow further time to scrutinize the allocations for the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.
The MPs had already exhausted the one-hour time allotted to the consideration of that Ministry when the Speaker put the funding for approval without any questions being asked.
The opposition MPS in protest voted against the funding.
The $800 million was geared towards provision for Amerindian development projects and programs while some $25 million were allocated for the purchase of vehicles, boats, and engines.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Based on the information provided by Parliament, this article initially indicated that Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman abstained from voting; however the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs later clarified that he did not count the vote of Mr Shuman and apologised for the error. The article has since been amended to reflect accuracy.