Khadijah kicked out of Parliament by Forde

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Khadijah kicked out of Parliament by Forde

The MP for St Augustine, Khadijah Ameen, was given the boot from Parliament on Friday, after she questioned an order laid down by the Deputy House Speaker Esmond Forde.

Forde had to summon the Marshal of the Parliament to remove Ameen from the chamber, after he instructed her to leave and she questioned his order.

The drama unfolded after Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh had been questioning Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales on TTPost negotiations with the TT Postal Workers’ Union for the period 2014-2017, for Bargaining Units 1, 2 and 3.

Gonzales reported that the commencement of negotiations was delayed pending the completion of a job evaluation for workers within these bargaining units, as well as non-bargaining positions.

However, Indarsingh, who cited “the minister’s track record” on information from State enterprises, asked if the job evaluation survey hadn’t been completed. Gonzales said he had a track record that can stand tall on public service and “the MP has no record of public service in T&T and should be ashamed to talk about ‘track record’ in this Parliament”.

It was then that Ameen and other Opposition MPs protested loudly.

Ameen protested based on two standing orders. Forde said he’d ascertain, based on the comments made, if standing orders were breached. He apologised but said he had to “stand it down”. When there was further protest from Ameen, Ford instructed her to “take five minutes” outside.

To more Opposition protests and Government retorts, Forde shouted, “Members please!”

He said he’d ruled to the Laventille West MP, Oropouche East MP and Finance Minister. Forde twice instructed Ameen to vacate the chamber for five minutes.

She then asked, “Under what standing order Mr Deputy Speaker?”

Forde again instructed her to leave, to which the Government bench desk-thumped approval. Forde ordered the marshal to assist Ameen in leaving.

Ameen said, “Mr Deputy Speaker, I’m not being disrespectful to you in any way, I’m simply asking to be guided by you under what Standing Order you’re asking me to leave the chamber?”

Forde said he’d ruled and repeated his order. When she didn’t leave, Forde told Opposition Chief Whip David Lee to ensure she left the chamber. Opposition MPs queried what standing order was being used. Leader of Government Business, Camille Robinson-Regis, cited 55-3.

MPs Barry Padarath and Dr Roodal Moonilal, meanwhile, turned their chairs, “sandwiching” Ameen, blocking officers from reaching her. Some Opposition MPs complained about being pushed out of the way.

Ameen eventually said she was leaving but still awaited Forde’s guidance on what standing order was used. The Government bench protested obstruction of proceedings. Forde asked Moonilal to shift his chair so Ameen could leave and she departed as protests continued.

Forde then alerted MPs to the standing orders in the House.