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Oct 11, 2016

P.U.P. pulls out of Senate Select Committee on Immigration

Valerie Woods

The People’s United Party confirmed via press release today that its Senator will not be participating in the Special Senate Select Committee on Immigration set to meet on Wednesday. The party’s original motion in the Senate, which called for one member each from the Government and Opposition parties and each of the three Social Partner Senators to take part, was defeated at the Senate meeting on August thirty-first. Shortly thereafter the Government changed its tune and supported a Senate-only inquiry, leading to the vote on September thirtieth, when the Opposition and Church Senator Ashley Rocke introduced competing motions, the latter of which was heard first. That was pivotal, as it, with a few amendments, was voted on along party lines and passed. Crucially, it gives the Government two members to the Opposition’s one and has terms of reference that some believe are weaker than the Opposition’s motion. Senator Woods in an interview today listed the reasons why the process is “bogus” and a “circus” which the P.U.P. will not validate. She also answered the question of why the P.U.P. did not fight harder for its motion to be heard first.

 

Valerie Woods, Opposition Senator

“We have an opportunity to demonstrate good governance; we have an opportunity for a commitment if you will to principle of anti-corruption. We are not demonstrating it with more than a composition of five; in addition to that the terms of reference that was approved is weak in that one it really does not provide for the natural justice which has been so doubted but our motion dir. Two it limits who you can call were as the motion of all of us, the business sector, the unions and originally the churches along with ourselves had wonted is a motion that could call to question those persons named in the scandal in that report as it relates to the report. Let’s not get fooled by those who will say oh we will call you or just anybody. Of course not you are dealing with mature responsible people in the senate and it will be limited to those who were named and involved in the dealings as reported in that report. And the other point is that the senate committee ought to have some budget assigned to it. So that resources is not an issue as to why it can’t meet or why it couldn’t get this witness in and so forth. The senators, those of us who were appointed by the opposition, we always fight hard, we always lobby hard, we will always try and make our case strong but the fact is what occurred on that Friday, you had the Vice President, Minster of State Carla Barnett sitting in and changed the order of the business. I have the right which is a general and miscellaneous order by the way just to move along the discussions if you will to change the order of the business on that day and how many would have voted for it? The same amount had had voted for the motion.”

 

Senator Woods also noted that the presence of Minister of Immigration and Police Senator Godwin Hulse created a conflict of interest that tainted the final vote.

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