PRO for the United National Congress, Kirk Meighoo, said the recent expulsion of Anil Roberts from the Parliament on Tuesday is the latest brash move to establish a dictatorship in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a release, Meighoo wrote that “It is clear that the PNM wish to govern without a Parliamentary Opposition, without the voices of over 309,000 citizens — the majority of voters in Trinidad — being heard or represented. The PNM ploy is to use every opportunity to demean and minimise the Opposition. When the light of Democracy is shone on them in the Chamber, they scramble to put it out.”
“The PNM wishes to govern by simple majority, by announcements to the constitutionally powerless media, bypassing the Parliament. The Government is constantly running away from or trying to suppress the Parliamentary Opposition, who are the centrepiece of our system of Parliamentary Democracy, representation and accountability,” the release stated.
He added “The PNM have a clear agenda, which they advance ruthlessly. Everything the PNM does is sinister. Each time they succeed with a violation of our democratic rights, they push the envelope further. We become like frogs in a pot of steadily boiling water.
It is beyond ironic — twisted or perverse is more like it — that in a Motion to restore the time permitted to speak in the House, a Senator’s speaking time was actually CUT. Further, he was expelled from the House.”
To defend our system of Parliamentary Democracy, the UNC says “we must insist that all Presiding Officers act fairly, without bias, and with consistency. The Opposition must be allowed to represent its constituents and criticise the Government freely in the Parliament.”
The release noted “In the interest of the rights of our citizens to be represented in Parliament — and of transparency — we also insist on our right to know what rules are specifically being violated, if so charged. Power must never be exercised arbitrarily, or on the whim of those who temporarily hold it.
The citizenry must be vigilant and aware of the steady destruction of our rights and freedoms. All of us must defend our Parliamentary Democracy from being turned into a PNM Dictatorship”