Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is being urged to apologise to the Parliament for recent conduct and statements, tantamount to contempt for the House.
House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George during Friday’s sitting of the Parliament did not mince words in relation to the “unrepentant” MP’s behaviour, as she made an announcement regarding the continued abuse of Standing Order 17.
She chastised Dr Moonilal’s decision to write the US Ambassador on the alleged sale of gasoline by Trinidad and Tobago to Venezuela. Moonilal tried to raise a motion in Parliament, which was denied by the House Speaker.
Annisette-George said the Oropouche East MP was aware of the prescribed process to seek redress having once held the office of Leader of the House.
She said: “The Member’s actions can therefore only be construed as a flagrant display of disrespect to this House, an attempt to mislead and inflame citizens and to bring this House and the Chair of this House into public odium and disrepute.”
She continued: “To misuse the Standing Orders and then deliberately spread misinformation about the rules, practice and proceedings of this House is an ignoble mischief and should be denounced by all Members of this House.”
Annisette-George said Dr Moonilal should apologise to the House for his conduct “if has a modicum of decency left”.
In making the announcement, the House Speaker again reminded members that debates pursuant to Standing Order 17 occasion the adjournment of the prearranged business of the House to discuss “a matter of urgent public importance”.
She indicated that the process to trigger such an adjournment, the matter to be discussed must satisfy three criteria: The matter must be definite; urgent; and of public importance.
In an effort to avoid a recurrence of the abuse of the Standing Order, Annisette-George has directed the Clerk to issue to Members as well as to the general public information briefs on this and other misconstrued Standing Orders.
She has also directed that as often is required, Members be advised against the submission of applications under Standing Order 17 that do not satisfy its requirements.