The Opposition United National Congress has written to President Paula-Mae Weekes seeking the immediate revocation of the appointment of independent senator Anthony Vieira.
According to the Opposition, Vieira’s claims that Opposition members made abusive and malicious assertions following an October 21 electoral college sitting, as well as his subsequent filing of a motion of censure against them, indicate he is unfit for the position.
In a letter dated November 21, 2021, the Opposition wrote, “A dangerous trend is developing between the Government and the Senators of whom we complain herein. They are pellucidly bent on suppressing freedom of speech.
“Mr Vieira’s conduct by way of subsequent actions and statements have revealed a non-independent or partisan Bench.”
In anticipation of Vieira’s motion of censure, which is set to be debated in the Senate tomorrow, Opposition senator Wade Mark accused the nine independent senators of being involved in a sinister plan by the People’s National Movement at a media conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader yesterday in Port-of-Spain.
“It appears the nine independent senators have colluded with the 15 PNM senators in order to kick us out,” Mark said.
“There is an attempt to hijack the senate…If we are being accused of misconduct, molestation, interference, bullying, threats. That is a matter that should go before the Committee of Privileges.”
According to Mark, if tomorrow’s motion of censure is successful, an attempt may be made to move an amendment or motion to impose sanctions on Opposition senators.
“It can’t end with just a censure. What is the penalty? What is the sanction?” Mark wondered.
“Who the hell is Anthony Vieira to tell us in the Opposition, and as members of the Opposition, how to speak or behave, or what we should say? Who gave him that authority? This is a massive political conspiracy.”
On October 21, the electoral college voted on the Opposition’s motion seeking to remove President Weekes over her alleged role in the Police Service Commission fiasco.
During the session, Opposition senators shouted comments towards Independent Senators as they voted. The UNC also attacked the Independent bench following the defeated motion, including claims that they were singing for their supper.
In response to the comments, Vieira filed a motion—received by Parliament on October 28—alleging that the Opposition senators had made abusive and malicious assertions, imputed false and improper motives and cast negative reflections on the characters and impartiality of all independent senators.
He accused the Opposition’s members of failing to uphold the dignity, discipline and decorum of Parliament.
Attempts yesterday to get Senator Vieira for a comment on the UNC’s claims and letter to the President were unsuccessful.