Eight APNU+AFC Parliamentarians officially suspended

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In the wee hours of Friday, eight APNU+AFC Parliamentarians were officially suspended from the National Assembly after the House with a majority vote from the government side adopted recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges.

A Motion for the House to adopt the recommendations was tabled by Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira.

Also delivering remarks during the presentation of the motion were Deputy Speaker Lennox Shuman and Attorney General Anil Nandlall who are both members of the Privileges Committee and agreed that the actions of reprimand were necessary.

They both supported the decision to address the parliamentary disruptions resulting in the seizure of the Speaker’s Mace on December 29, 2021.

The opposition MPs now suspended are Annette Ferguson, Christopher Jones, Ganesh Mahipaul, Vinceroy Jordan, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Sherod Duncan, Maureen Philadelphia and Natasha Singh-Lewis.

The committee’s report recommended that MPs Jones, Mahipaul, Duncan and Singh- Lewis be suspended for four consecutive sittings of the National Assembly after they engaged in disorderly and disrespectful behaviour.

It was also recommended that MPs Ferguson and Jordan be suspended for six consecutive sittings following their “severe and egregious” violations that night.

These MPs were involved in the removal of the mace from its rightful position, causing damages; as well as injured and assaulted a member of staff from the Parliament Office.

The decision was taken in the face of a pending High Court application, filed earlier this week, seeking to prevent the National Assembly from adopting the recommendations.

On these grounds, Opposition Parliamentarian and Attorney Khemraj Ramjattan sought to get the Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir not to move ahead with the Motion.

But Speaker Nadir said the matter was only filed and no Judge has been assigned.

“But in all of this it comes down to the discretion of the Speaker… I am happy to say that my discretion is founded in the Constitution, convention and Commonwealth practices.

“So, while I have listened to the honourable member Ramjattan, I now will have to disagree with him and ask that we proceed with the matter before us,” Nadir said.

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