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Manning, Cox out of retreat

Monday, July 1 2013

OPPOSITION Peopleís National Movement (PNM) parliamentarians will gather at the Magdalena Grand Hotel, Tobago on July 6 and 7 for a two day retreat. However Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox and San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning will not be attending the retreat which is designed to help PNM parliamentarians improve on their performances in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Officials at the Opposition Leaderís Office yesterday confirmed the retreat. They said Opposition parliamentarians will have sessions with some professional facilitators on topics such as public sector financing and accounting. The officials said this was important in the context of the 2014 Budget which Finance Minister Larry Howai will present to Parliament before October 31.

The facilitators were identified as Christine Sahadeo, Roy Mitchell and Steve Gardner. Sahadeo, served as a former PNM government senator and minister in the Ministry of Finance in the period 2002 to 2007.

The officials said all PNM parliamentarians, except Cox and Manning will be attending. They indicated that Cox had a previous engagement which she could not get out of and has been excused from attending the retreat.

The officials added that Manning will not be attending, as he is still on sick leave from Parliament. At a sitting of the House on June 13, Speaker Wade Mark granted Manning an additional 42 days leave from Parliament.

At a sitting of the House on April 19, Mark granted Manning a further 42-day leave of absence from Parliament. Prior to this, Manningís last leave expired on April 17. The leave which the former Prime Minister was granted on April 19, expired on May 29. The latest period of leave granted to Manning means he will miss this current session of Parliament which will be prorogued on or before July 10.

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