By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Clement Rohee is calling on the combined Opposition to desist from the banging of desks and loud shouting in the National Assembly as a means of demanding an apology from Education Minister Priya Manickchand.
He is also calling on Speaker Raphael Trotman to uphold his ruling and allow the Minister to address the House.
At the PPP’s press conference on Monday, April 07, Rohee said an apology maybe forthcoming from the Minister if she is given a chance to speak.
His contention however, is that the PNC led APNU has reneged on an initial agreement reached between APNU Parliamentarians, the Speaker and Manickchand.
“The people have seen live and direct how the PNC led APNU is continuing in their old obnoxious ways of the past… bullying those who stand against them with their noisy disruptive display,” Rohee told the news conference.
Rohee said the action of the Oppositon in the House was a breach of trust since they had reached an agreement and settled the matter. He told reporters that the APNU is preventing the Minister from exercising her democratically elected right to represent the more than 200,000 students in the country’s public schools.
“This is what the PPP has called the tyranny of the one seat majority…” Rohee said as he recalled moves by the Opposition in the past to gag him in the House.
When asked what is preventing Manickchand from apologizing and moving on with the business of the House, Rohee said it was the banging on the desks of the Opposition members.
The Opposition had banged on the desks, singing “apology to Sharma” as Manickchand stood to make her contribution in the House on Friday, April 4. As a result, Speaker Raphael Trotman adjourned the sitting until today Monday, April 07.
Sharma resigned from the National Assembly following a heckling incident in the House on Tuesday, April 01.
Manickchand had heckled “ask the APNU member Sharma” while MP Volda Lawrence was addressing the issue of rape in the society during her very emotive presentation.
Manickchand was initially banned by the Speaker from debating in the House. However, her ban was subsequently removed by the Speaker himself.
Rohee has called on the Speaker to stand by his decision and ensure the Minister is protected from further abuse by the Opposition.