By Andre Bagoo Tuesday, October 9 2012
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Imbert waves it: Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert waves sheets of notes as he contributes to the Budget debate at Tower D, International Waterfr...
SPEAKER Wade Mark yesterday called on Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley to ask Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert “to control himself” during a heated session of the Budget debate when Imbert bristled on criticisms thrown his way by National Security Minister Jack Warner.
“Leader of the Opposition I am appealing to you,” Mark told Rowley during Warner’s contribution to the Budget debate at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain.
“I am appealing to you as Leader of the Opposition to appeal to the member for Diego Martin North East (Imbert).”
Mark continued, “I don’t want to ask him to exit the chamber. I am asking you to ask him to control himself. This is the second time I am on my legs asking the member for Diego Martin North East to listen in silence and if he does not want to do so then he should exit the chamber. I cannot be rising all the time for all these interruptions. He is disregarding the authority of the chair. I am appealing to the Leader of the Opposition to make sure that I do not rise a third time.”
Earlier, the Speaker had warned Imbert and another Opposition MP Dr Amery Browne, the Diego Martin Central MP.
“Member for Diego Martin North East and Diego Martin Central. I think both of you spoke and both of you demanded the attention of this Honourable House. I want to protect the Member for Chaguanas West and the Minister of National Security. If both of you all do not want to listen you could exit the chamber. But I don’t think it is fair for you to be carrying on a conversation while the Member is speaking and I am asking you particularly to be silent and just listen. Thank you very much.”
After both these warnings, Imbert would again be heard protesting after Warner accused him of omitting key facts in his Budget contribution and of being deceptive. As Imbert protested, the Speaker said, “Please, member for Diego Martin North East!”
Later, after Warner accused Imbert of “douen and lagahoo math”, Imbert rose on a point of order, invoking the Standing Order 33(4) on the right of reply (normally invoked in an application for a later statement in response). The Speaker asked Warner to continue. Warner’s contribution came after Imbert alleged there were hundreds of measures announced in the 2010 Budget which never materialised.
“Not done! Not done!” he said repeatedly, going through a list. He did not say whether the measures had been planned for the long, short or medium term, or whether some of the measures mentioned dated back to previous PNM budgets.
In response, Warner took aim on Imbert’s record noting that Imbert, as former Works and Transport Minister, had failed to implement several projects, which would later be implemented by this Government. “Done! Done! Done!” Warner said.
Going into the debate, Warner had threatened to devote half his contribution on attacking Rowley and “to go after him and expose him.”
Instead, Warner seemed to focus the bulk of his contribution on Imbert and on responding to Laventille East MP Donna Cox in relation to crime levels in Laventille.