Dulalchan rejected! Gov't passes 8 pieces of legislation following Opposition walkout

It's official now, Deodat Dulalchan will not be the next Commissioner of Police, at least not anytime soon.

This comes after the Parliament voted in favour of a negative resolution to a motion brought by the Opposition, that sought to have his name forwarded to President Paula-Mae Weekes as the PSC's nominee.

The motion was the last of eight pieces of legislation that were passed by the Government over a two-hour span, without a single member of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

The Opposition had walked out of the House just after 10 pm Wednesday, as the Government was wrapping up debate on "A motion to note the report of the Special Select Committee of Parliament on the selection of a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police".

The Opposition was contending that House Speaker Bridgid Annissette George did not recognise one of their MPs who rose to speak after the Prime Minister, but instead allowed the mover of the motion, Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds, to wrap up the debate.

That motion was passed soon after, without Opposition members there to vote.

The motion that rejected Dulalchan on the basis of a flawed process, was the last of the eight passed during the no-Opposition period.

Just before midnight, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley rose to debate 'A motion to approve the Notification of the President of the nomination of the PSC of Mr Deodat Dulalchan to the office of Commissioner of Police".

The Prime Minister, the only person to speak on the motion, reminded the House of the earlier debate on the Special Select Committee, where the Government had declared the process used by the Police Service Commission, as flawed.

As a result, the Prime Minister said the selection of Dulalchan as the nominee for Police Commissioner was also flawed and he moved a negative resolution instead.

With no Opposition members in the House, the negative resolution was passed unanimously, dismissing any chance of the president being notified of Dulalchan's nomination as Police Commissioner, unless he is chosen during another selection process.

In-between those two pieces of legislation, the Government passed six more items, with only Government members in the House.

Attorney General  Faris Al Rawi read "The Criminal Division and District Criminal and Traffic Courts Bill, 2018" and it was quickly passed after going through the process of the committee stage of the House.

Dr Rowley then raised "A Motion to approve the Notification of the nomination of Ms. Susan Elizabeth Craig James as a member of the Police Service Commission". That was also passed unanimously.

The next was "The Payments into Courts Bill, 2018" led by the Attorney General, which seeks to have maintenance payments made electronically through banks and other financial agencies, to reduce the indignity of mothers having to line up at the courts.

That too was passed following the committee stage, minus an Opposition.

It was then Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy's turn, with "A Motion to approve the Children's Community Residences (Children's Homes) Regulations, 2018" - passed unanimously.

The next two were led by the AG - "The Miscellaneous Provisions (Supreme Court of Judicature and Children) Bill, 2018" and the introduction of "Senate amendments to the Registration of Titles to Land (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2017", which followed the same pattern as the ones before.

Having started the day's proceedings at 1.30 Wednesday afternoon, the House was adjourned just after midnight, to a date to be fixed, with the AG and the House Speaker bringing greetings to the Muslim community on the celebration of Eid Ul-Fitr. 

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