The Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir has disallowed an Opposition motion, which was intended to pave way for the Assembly to agree to the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the deadly Mahdia fire.
It was APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Ganesh Mahipaul who requested leave to discuss, and make recommendations for inclusion in the Terms of Reference for the Mahdia Commission of Inquiry, on the basis that it was a matter of urgent public importance.
MP Mahipaul wanted the Assembly deliberate on the matter before the House goes into recess.
“The request sir, is in my view, considered, and in the view of the APNU, considered urgent on the basis that the National Assembly will not be sitting for the next two months because we are going into recess and given that the Government has indicated that they will go ahead and swear in the commissioners, and begin the Commissioner of Inquiry, I believe the National Assembly should be given an opportunity to agree with all stakeholders, Opposition and Government to propose the Terms of Reference for this Commission of Inquiry,” MP Mahipaul told the House.
In disallowing the motion, the Speaker said it was not an urgent matter.
“The issue here is urgency. That tragic incident happened over than two and a half months ago. It was signalled that a Commission of Inquiry would have been established to look at the particular tragedy. Two and a half months would have been sufficient time for any member of this National Assembly to bring a formal motion to the House, to have it tabled and discussed,” the Speaker said.
MP Mahipaul expressed disappointment that his request for leave for the House to discuss the issue was disallowed.
Through the motion, the Opposition MP was hoping to have the National Assembly submit a list of recommendations for inclusion in the ToR.
Those recommendations would cover an assessment of safety standards, evaluation of oversight and accountability, an examination of emergency response, the identification of potential negligence or misconduct, and recommendations for preventive measures.
He had also hoped that the Assembly would have also supported his recommendation for a monument to be constructed in memory of the victims.
The Office of the President has announced that the Commission of Inquiry members will be sworn in on Thursday.