By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsgauyna.com] – All opposition seats remained vacant as Education Minister Priya Manickchand made her contribution to the National 2014 Budget Debate.
The Opposition members walked out of the House at the beginning of Manickchand’s presentation.
The Opposition is protesting her refusal to issue an apology to Former APNU MP Jaipaul Sharma.
Manickchand had heckled “ask the APNU member Sharma” while MP Volda Lawrence was addressing the issue of rape in the society.
At the opening of Monday’s sitting (April 07), Speaker Raphael Trotman expressed his disappointment with the manner in which the last sitting ended, after the Opposition banged desks and shouted in an attempt to prevent the Minister from speaking unless an apology was forthcoming.
He recalled a meeting between the two sides where he believed the issue was resolved, adding that he was surprised by the subsequent actions including Sharma’s resignation from the House.
“The events have caused us all pain and anguish, I never thought the actions that followed would have occurred and I do believe that within parties exists decency to do what is right just and necessary,” the Speaker said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds also registered his shock at the actions of the Opposition. He told the National Assembly that the matter was resolved after a set of words were agreed upon that Manickchand would use.
However, APNU MP Joseph Harmon objected stating that there were not words decided upon.
Trotman had lifted the ban he placed on Manickchand to participate in the debate.