‘Sabotage’: Demos slam Govt

Monday April 15, 2019 Written by Published in National

Opposition Democratic Party leader Tina Browne says the government deliberately rushed through the Parliamentary sitting to sabotage an Opposition move to put through an important motion on Thursday.

 

The first Parliament sitting for the year was adjourned sine die on Wednesday after three half-day sessions.

Browne said the Opposition was set to file a motion regarding the conduct of Members of Parliament and covered “a lot of areas”.

The motion was supposed to be tabled on Thursday, which was the private members’ day.

Browne said as per requirement, they had put the motion on notice earlier in the week.

“We were disappointed (with the motion to adjourn the Parliament sine die).  We had an Order Paper full of Bills needed to move along and to me there didn’t seem any keenness from the other side to do so after they got the Appropriation Amendment Bill and the money they were seeking through Parliament,” Browne said.

“The public has been heavily critical of the days the Parliament sits for business and here we are in our first sitting for the year in the fourth month and we sat for only two days.”

The Cook Islands Party-led coalition government on Wednesday managed to pass the Appropriation Amendment Bill in which they sought topping up the current Budget by $5.3 million to meet the extra requirements in the 2018/19 financial year.

Following that, the various committees were finalised before the Leader of the House Tingika Elikana moved the motion to adjourn the Parliament sine die.

The motion was seconded by Internal Affairs minister Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa.

Opposition leader Browne spoke on the motion and criticised the move to end the Parliament with a number of Bills pending on the Order Paper.

She said there were some urgent Bills such as the Justice of Peace Bill, Law Practitioners Bill, Infrastructure Bill and Crimes Bill yet to be discussed and debated.

“Well, the adjournment was within the hands of the House and as we stand today, they are the majority so could we oppose it, we did oppose but it was carried on. I made my comments about my disappointment and that’s all we can do.”

Browne also raised concerns about the way the Parliamentary proceedings were conducted this week.

She said she was disappointed with the way the Appropriation Amendment Bill was passed and certain procedures that were followed in Parliament.

“In my view the government members abused the Standing Orders by referring to a particular Standing Order which allowed Parliament to suspend another Standing Order. They used this four to five times so what’s the point of Standing Orders if you keep suspending it.

“I’m of the clear view that the standing order which allows suspension of another standing order was heavily abused.”

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