Trinidad Express Newspapers: News | 17-17 deadlock on two bills as Parliament resumes*

After a nine-week break, Parliament resumed yesterday with heat in the House as a 17-17 deadlock resulted in the Government not having a simple majority to pass amendments to two bills.
There were 17 Government members and 17 Opposition members present. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is out of the country, Government member Marlene McDonald was absent and Public Administration Minister Maxie Cuffie is ill. House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George was forced to use her casting vote to side with the Government on three occasions as the votes were taken.
Both Leader of Government Business Camille-Robinson-Regis and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the Opposition “abused” the system to take advantage because of the deadlock and not lend their support to amendments that they supported previously.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar countered, saying the Opposition does not support the amendments because Al-Rawi did not honour the undertaking he gave with respect to providing information on certain clauses. Persad-Bissessar also chided the Government for adjourning the Parliament and “running away”, as she claimed Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley did.

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