Category Archives: Parliament

The price of progress – Pt II

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 02, 2022

PART IPART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe general election of 1946 ushered in a new phase in Trinidad and Tobago’s political development, in that it was the year in which universal suffrage was introduced into the island. In that year, Patrick Solomon formed the West Indian National Party with Dr David Pitt, which later became the Caribbean Socialist Party.

Between 1950 and 1956, Albert Gomes, who considered himself “the logical successor to Captain Cipriani”, formed the Party of Political Progress Groups to contest the 1956 election. Owen Mathurin argues, “Gomes’s outstanding ambition was to outdo Cipriani and replace him as the hero in the hearts of the black working class.” Although the Colonial Office saw Gomes as their “blue-eyed boy”, he was not regarded as the champion of the working class, as he had seen himself.
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Patriots, assemble!

By Raffique Shah
November 01, 2021

Raffique ShahHow many of you remember the video posted on one of the social media networks in which a girl, looking no more than 15 or so years old, standing before her smartphone’s camera, put an expletives-­laden cussing on the then-prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar?

Many people recoiled in horror: no, this could not be happening in this God-fearing country, some screamed. Others thought the girl was merely registering her displeasure with the Prime Minister and her government, so what?
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Ramesh: Speaker upheld the Constitution

Ramesh: Speaker upheld the Constitution during motion on President

By Renuka Singh
October 26 2021 – guardian.co.tt

Ramesh Lawrence MaharajSenior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has defended House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George’s handling of last Thursday’s motion by the Opposition to remove President Paula-Mae Weekes.

While the Opposition clamoured for the motion to be debated and attacked Annissette-George for refusing to allow it, Maharaj said the Constitution does not allow for a debate until the matter is passed by a two-thirds majority of the Electoral College.
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Portia tames Kams

By Raffique Shah
October 25, 2021

Raffique ShahI don’t know if it has yet dawned on Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her colleagues in the Opposition United National Congress that their ill-conceived motion in Parliament, which sought to trigger the impeachment of the President of the Republic, has backfired so badly that it seems set to terminate Persad-Bissessar’s political career, and possibly eliminate the UNC as a political force in the country.
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From high drama to farce

Express Editorial
October 21, 2021 – trinidadexpress.com

Kamla Persad-BissessarPredictably, the Opposition Leader’s motion to remove the President crashed and burned on the Parliament’s floor with a wide 47-24 margin of defeat.

From the start, this was a misguided motion that smacked of over-reach and succeeded only in bringing a healthy public ­debate on the role of the President to a premature end.
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Has the People’s Lawyer lost his way?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 18, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen the Opposition gave notice last week that it intended to file a vote of no confidence in Faris Al-Rawi, it was another sequel in an ongoing battle to get rid of one of the most inefficient attorneys general our country has ever known.

After he filed the motion against Al-Rawi, San Juan/Barataria MP Saddam Hosein noted: “We have seen six consecutive years of legislative incompetence and legislative insanity. And now the icing on the cake is the particular 2021 Order… which attempted to change the law for the appointment of a Commissioner of Police,” (Express, October 1)
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There is no crisis

By Raffique Shah
October 18, 2021

Raffique ShahIt saddens me to write what I am about to, but it’s harsh reality that we must face and fight, or, if we are the unpatriotic cowards many believe we are, then we might consider joining millions of others across the world who abandon all hope in their native lands and become refugees, moving like nomads anywhere the wind and fellow-refugees take them.
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Court rules both Griffith, Jacob appointments illegal

By Jada Loutoo
October 15, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

Gary GriffithAS of midnight, the country will, for the first time since Independence, be without a commissioner of police at the helm of the police service.

This is because the acting appointment of deputy Commissioner McDonald Jacob comes to an end on Friday, and the acting appointment of former commissioner Gary Griffith by the Police Service Commission (PSC) from August 18 was deemed unlawful hours before.
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We Ent Wukking Anyhow

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 11, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeKaren Tesheira, in an insightful presentation on the budget 2022 statement, said, “A budget is far more than a number of figures cobbled together. It speaks to the government priorities, its values, its vision and its imperatives—in other words, its strategic plan for its citizenry.”

She titled her remarks “Government for the Rich and Powerful”, and reminded us of one of the main conclusions in the European Bank’s “Economic Inclusion Strategy [EIS]” (2017–2021): “The opening up of economic opportunities to previously under-served social groups is integral to achieving a transition towards sustainable market economies.” (Express, October 6)
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Criminalizing Civil Infractions

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2021

“All advanced legal systems condemn as criminal the sorts of conduct described in the Anglo-American law as treason, murder, aggravated assault, thievery, robbery, burglary, and rape.”

Encyclopedia Britannica

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI always wonder why an inefficient government demands that its citizens be efficient when it represents the epitome of inefficiency. Recently, the government put out its regulations regarding its intention to collect “Property Tax” which requires “that every person in possession of residential land, commercial land, agricultural land or a combination of any of the above (mixed use) in Trinidad and Tobago furnish a return containing the particulars…on or before 30th November 2021.” Failure to comply with the requirement constitutes “a criminal offence which is punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000).”
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