BARBADOS-Opposition legislators walk out of parliament

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Opposition legislators Friday walked out of the Barbados Parliament after Opposition Leader Mia Mottley was not allowed to complete the process of laying the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), report for 2013-2018

Deputy Speaker Mara Thompson refused to allow Mottley, who is also PAC chairman to complete the process after Government minister Donville Inniss had objected to Mottley’s attempt to give notice of the report.

Inniss had told legislators that although he is a PAC member, he was not invited to the final meeting at which the document was discussed.

 

At a news conference later, Mottley said the opposition legislators would not be returning to the Upper Chamber until the next parliamentary begins following general elections, which are constitutionally due by June.

“I know of no other circumstance where the House allows somebody to give notice of a report…and the House comes back 20 minutes later to say….it was not laid properly. I never laid anything.

“What is required of me as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is to give notice and I said when the speeches were going on…that what they may want to say and I don’t agree because the facts don’t support it …the appropriate time at which to make those points is literally when the report is being moved for its adoption and debate, not when notice is being given,” Mottley said.

She said what transpired in the parliament was a new practice where government ministers were allowed “in my view to offend the rules of Parliament and to give themselves the whip and opportunity to debate things which would not otherwise be debated”.

“On the basis of what transpired we believe that there can be no useful purpose for the Barbados Labour Party participating neither in the House of Assembly today, the Senate next week, and I n any event the dissolution of Parliament has taken place,” she said, noting that the dissolution “takes place in 10 days’ time”.

Mottley said the BLP would not be party to efforts by the government to do what it could and did not do over the last 10 years.

The currently Parliament automatically dissolves on March 5, but Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is yet to announce the date for the upcoming poll.

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