Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bridgid Annisette-George has ruled that a prima facie case have been made out against Oropouche East MP, Dr Roodal Moonilal, fo a statement made in the House towards Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds.
The Speaker had been asked to consider whether Moonilal breached Parliament's privileges, for telling Hinds, "Da is why Snake have some lead for you.”
The following is the Speaker's ruling:
"Honourable Members, I am now ready to rule on the matter of privilege raised by the Member for Arouca Maloney and Leader of the House on October 15th, 2018.
It is well accepted that Parliament is a place of strong opinions and emotions, and when tempers flare, Members can get carried away.
However, I am consoled that our House is more orderly and decorous than many others.
On October 10th, 2018, the Member for Oropouche East and Member for Laventille West engaged in a heated exchange. As I advised on that day, I did not hear the exchange.
However, I have since viewed the video footage and listened to the audio recorded during the sitting held on that day. I have also read the Hansard of the proceedings. The words attributed to the Member for Oropouche East in the matter raised by the Member for Arouca Maloney, were in fact uttered. I am also satisfied that several other Members heard the comment.
Honourable Members, the matter raised by the Member for Arouca Maloney is a serious one, as there is absolutely no place for violent or threatening language in this House. The statement made, when placed into context as presented by the Member for Arouca Maloney, clearly falls below the esteem and dignity of the Parliament.
Therefore, having considered the submission made by the Member for Arouca Maloney, and in accordance with my duty under Standing Order 32(4), I rule that a prima facie case of breach of privilege has been made out, and that the incident requires further consideration by the Committee of Privileges.
I so rule."