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Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein

Even as the United National Congress (UNC) prepares for its motion of no-confidence in Minister of National Security Stuart Young, San Juan/Barataria MP Saddam Hosein is calling on him to resign.Hosein made the call as he and Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh hosted what they said was the first of the UNC’s weekly Sunday briefings to address citizens because the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government had weakened the Parliament as the voice of the people.

Indarsingh said the Government had unconstitutionally altered the Standing Orders to weaken the Opposition’s role in the Parliament.While the motion against Young, the Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West MP, is likely the fail with the Government holding a 22-19 seat advantage, the Opposition hopes to use it as a forum to show Young’s “incompetence” as the minister.“He is the minster of everything and achieves nothing. He is embattled. He must resign. He should save himself the embarrassment and clear his desk before the debate because the leader of the Opposition will wipe the parliamentary floor with Minister Young,” Hosein said. Hosein said all the people who did not vote for PNM still have a place in T&T’s democracy and were fed up of the Government. He added that because the Government seeks to silence the Opposition, it must use every tool possible to defend the people. He said the motion was about Young’s incompetence, stressing that citizens could no longer bear the weight of it. He charged Young with failing to keep citizens safe and closing off foreign travel to nationals while the borders remain open to illegal immigrants. Since filing the motion, he said Young had been playing the victim card while there is still a high crime rate and illegal immigration. He added that Young was also overseeing the virtual defunding of the T&T Police Service.And while the Government claimed that the UNC is not supporting anti-crime legislation, Hosein said this was a lie. He said the parliamentary records would show Opposition support on the FATCA, Anti-Gang Bill, Bail (Amendment) Bill, Insurance Act, Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill and several others.He said while the UNC engages the High Court to force the Government to explain why it denies citizens stranded abroad free entry back into the T&T, a judgement would take some time.

However, he said their efforts in the Parliament could force immediate changes.Meanwhile, Indarsingh said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was presiding over the darkest anti-work and anti-trade union era since independence. He said job losses were over 100,000 since the PNM took over the Government and began its union-busting activities. He added that Industrial Court judgements are also not being honoured.

“Underemployment seems to be the order of the day. Only last Friday, we were told during deliberations before a Joint Select Committee that lawyers were driving taxis and doing other odd jobs … Taking into consideration, vacancies were not being filled in the Solicitor General Department in the office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.” Indarsingh’s comments came after the trade union movement staged a motorcade from San Fernando to Port-of-Spain on Saturday. Before driving off, Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget highlighted the failure of the UNC-led People’s Partnership and PNM to enhance labour legislation and honour the collective bargaining process. However, Indarsingh said the blame for this was on the PNM over the last six years.