The Opposition remains undecided about returning to the Lower House—even for its private Members’ Day later this month—until there’s confirmation on COVID safety in the Parliament.
United National Congress (UNC) MP Rudy Indarsingh indicated this yesterday regarding the UNC’s boycott of Parliament for last Friday’s Lower House sitting, Tuesday’s Senate meeting and Wednesday’s Lower House meeting also.
This was to highlight UNC’s concerns over COVID safety and sanitisation of the Parliament following the Prime Minister’s recent positive test for COVID. He’s quarantined in Tobago and being treated.
The Lower House on Wednesday had a 34-minute sitting and adjourned to a date to be fixed.
House Leader Camille Robinson-Regis said all Government matters on the agenda were completed and there were only Opposition matters left, but no Opposition members to pose them.
On the Opposition’s boycott, she’d noted the Parliament has had strict COVID protocols since the pandemic began. Other officials also said yesterday the Parliament has COVID protocols, including testing, in place.
UNC chief whip David Lee didn’t answer calls. Asked when the UNC might return to the Lower House, after Robinson Regis’s statements, Indarsingh said he couldn’t speak for Lee or UNC’s senators. However, he said the UNC would do the right thing in keeping with safety protocols and once requirements sought are met and sanitisation and safety protocols are in place.
He said by the time Parliament resumes, he expected it would be known if anyone in the Cabinet, apart from the Prime Minister, tested positive.
“Every government division—even the Planning Ministry, EBC, courts, are being closed for sanitisation where COVID cases are found —so why not the Parliament?”
Saying it was a waiting game of sorts, he said the UNC would be guided on the resumption date by Government’s announcement of this, but he couldn’t say for certain if the UNC would attend if sittings resume next week, or even for Private Members’ Day when Opposition business is done. That is the fourth Friday of the month.
The Senate meets next Tuesday. But UNC senator Jearlean John said there’s been no decision on whether to attend.