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Parliamentarians at Arthur Chung Centre but not in dome will be blocked from virtual participation

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 December 2020, 12:43 by Denis Chabrol

House Speaker Manzoor Nadir  on Wednesday ruled that parliamentarians, who are at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, will not be allowed to participate in the sittings virtually.

“I trust that the Honourable Members, who are observing and participating from rooms within  the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, will see it fit to enter the dome. After today, if you are here present I won’t  allow your participation virtually,” he said.

Mr. Nadir issued his directive after Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira raised concerns about the absence of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) from the dome at the Centre where parliamentary sittings are being held.

She described as a “strange occurrence” that opposition lawmakers were in a room at the Centre but were participating virtually. “This is a form of boycott, yet participation and I think this House should not condone that. If they are in this building, they should be in this House to speak,” said Teixeira who is also the government’s Chief Whip.

She says they were, instead, in other rooms at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre although they were not out of town or uninjured. “It is not to be abused by the opposition, sitting in this building and using the Internet and everything in another room. Mr. Speaker, we cannot tolerate this, we cannot accept this. This is beyond what is acceptable in this House,’ said Ms. Teixeira.

hat Centre is the venue for sittings of the National Assembly to allow for proper social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.