Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 May 2016, 16:05 by Jomo Paul
The National Assembly erupted in a heated exchange between the Government and the Opposition on Wednesday as motions were moved for three members of the House to be sent to the Privileges Committee.
Government MP Charrandas Persaud tabled a motion for PPP MP Juan Edghill to be sent to the privileges committee over inaccurate statements that were made in the National Assembly in December 2015.
The motion was seconded by MP Jermaine Figueira and alleged that Edghill’s statement which calculated that increase in salaries for Government Minister totals over 200M per year were inaccurate.
Persaud said that the inaccurate figures effectively “violates the privileges of the National Assembly and has brought the House into disrepute.”
In his response Speaker Dr Barton Scotland simply said “I have received your complaint and this matter will now be sent to the Committee of Privileges.” This was done without Edghill being given an opportunity to explain himself.
Moments after, PPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeira in a letter written to the Speaker had asked that Natural Re
sources Minister Raphael Trotman issue an apology over statements made during the consideration of Budget 2016.
Teixeira in her letter expressed concern that figures quoted by Trotman to the effect that Guyana has no productive forests remaining would hinder Guyana’s relations with Norway and is blatantly misleading.
In the letter, Teixeira provided figures obtained from the website of the Guyana Forestry Commission which proved otherwise.
While Trotman responded in defence of his statement, saying that his figures were accurate and he would be happy to provide documentation, Teixeira called for Trotman to be sent to the Privileges Committee for repeating the sentiment.
“I am calling on you that we send Mr Trotman to the privileges committee based on his own utterances today,” she said adding “the statements that he has given here today contradicts what is on the Guyana Forestry Commission.”
Trotman in his response had stated that requested that Teixeira be sent to the Privileges Committee.
“I respectfully submit that neither the Honorable prime Minister nor I be called on to apologize or have this spurious complaint referred to the privileges committee. On the contrary, I respectfully submit that the Hon Gail Teixeira be sanctioned for abusing the process of the August National Assembly by bringing an obviously spurious and vexatious allegation before you,” said Trotman.
While no decision was made on either of the requests, both Parliamentarians were on the floor simultaneously requesting for the other to be sanctioned.