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Dr Roodal Moonilal

United National Congress MP Dr Roodal Moonilal will pilot debate at today’s Parliament sitting on whether House Speaker Bridgitte Annisette-George failed to act properly in a matter he tried to raise in April on the controversial Paria Fuel Trading fuel shipment ES Euro Shipping.

A motion on this filed by Moonilal is listed on Parliament’s agenda for debate in today’s proceedings.

It concerns Moonilal’s attempt on April 27 to move the adjournment of the Lower House to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance. This was based on Standing Order 17. The matter he proposed for discussion concerned alleged sale by Paria of fuel to ES Euro which allegedly ended up being sent to Venezuela in contravention of international sanctions. The Opposition had alleged that had occurred but the Government and Paria had struck down the claims.

But when Moonilal raised the matter on April 27 it wasn’t allowed for debate by the Speaker.

Moonilal’s motion today claims that the Speaker, in ruling that the matter didn’t qualify under Standing Order 17, “failed to declare a possible conflict of interest.”

His motion also notes that on May 8, in the aftermath of her ruling, the Speaker had “rebuked and condemned him for reporting elsewhere” – making comments – on the matter.

His motion claims that since the Speaker “committed a breach of the established rules of conduct and conventions” of the Lower House and “brought the high and noble Office of the Speaker into disrepute,” that the House should censure the Speaker “for her failure to act properly and impartially in the exercise of her office.”

During recent months of public debate by the Opposition on the fuel sal, UNC members at virtual meetings had called for sanctions on certain state officials, including Paria chairman Newman George.