Teixeira asks Parliament to sanction Ferguson, Jordan, Sarabo-Halley and others
The Parliamentary Committee of Privileges was on Monday asked to take action against several opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), who led the December 29, 2021 sitting of Parliament into chaos that ended in the Mace being seized.
The Motion of Privileges was moved by government Chief Whip and Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira.
Among the opposition MPs who reprimand is being recommended for are Annette Ferguson, Christopher Jones, Ganesh Mahipaul, Vinceroy Jordan, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Sherod Duncan, Maureen Philadelphia and Natasha Singh-Lewis.
Video footage shows Ferguson snatching Parliament’s authority – the Mace – and then being assisted by Jordan.
The Opposition’s protest, which escalated into what the Speaker condemned as “disrespect for the institution”, unfolded as the government moved to pass amendments to the Natural Resource Fund Act.
The Opposition had asked for it to be deferred and sent to a Special Select Committee, but the government had long said it would pass the amendments before the end of 2021.
“The evidence is overwhelming. It is recorded evidence that cannot be erased or forgotten,” Teixeira said, while noting that direct threats were posed to government MPs after the opposition MPs made entrance into their safe zone with aggression.
Teixeira recalled the stealing of the Mace by Ferguson, who was assisted by Vinceroy Jordan.
She also reminded of the deliberate damage to audio/visual equipment in the control room by Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and the abuse of a member of staff by Maureen Philadelphia.
She said other opposition MPs led the repeated disregard for the Speaker Manzoor Nadir and the National Assembly altogether.
“As a consequence, I bring a privilege motion…they have set a shameful example by elected officials,” the government Chief Whip added.
She called on the Committee of Privileges to act with alacrity and report within one month back to the Assembly.
The Speaker has also received a motion of privilege against several government MPs and a Motion of No-Confidence against himself, which he said was not submitted in a timely manner and could not read at Monday’s sitting.
The Ethnic Relations Commission has also been asked by Ean McPherson, a 53-year-old former police and army officer, who ensured that the Mace did not leave the building, to investigate the incident.
As he lay on his back, clasping the mace to ensure it wasn’t taken out of the premises, Opposition Parliamentarian Maureen Philadelphia, as was recorded on video, is seen standing over him and shouting the derogatory racial slur “house n**ro.”