Govt. goes silent on Local Govt. Bills

Govt. goes silent on Local Govt. Bills

The Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud on Thursday, gave the National Assembly the silent treatment as he refused to rise and lead four local government bills as the Government protested the Opposition’s move to have those bills debated on Thursday while pushing aside other business of the day.

Earlier, Opposition Member of Parliament Basil Williams had reported to the National Assembly that the Special Select Committee on local government had completed its review of the bills and he moved a motion and got the Assembly’s support for the bills to be debated at the Thursday sitting. The Government was not supportive of the move.

The dramatic move by the Minister, forced the Speaker Raphael Trotman to call on the Prime Minister to indicate Government’s position on the debate of the local government bills. The Prime Minister also remained in his seat and gave the national assembly the silent treatment.

With the Minister remaining silent, the Speaker said he could not force the Minister to lead the debate on the bills. A recess was called to give the parties the opportunity to discuss how they could move ahead with the debate. Both sides kept to their positions, with the Opposition wanting to go ahead with the debate and the Government side remaining silent.

To that the Speaker said he had no choice but to drop the bills from the day’s sitting since he could not make any ruling on it. Speaker Trotman said the bills would fall under ‘drop orders” and could later be brought back to the Assembly.

He said it was time to proceed with the other business of the day in the National Assembly and other Bills before the House. At that stage, the Government’s Chief Whip Gail Teixiera indicated that the Government will debate the local Government bills at a Friday sitting of the National Assembly.



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