United National Congress (UNC) senator Ashvani Mahabir has resigned.
The outgoing senator confirmed via text message that he tendered his resignation to the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar today and she accepted it.
"The OL (Opposition Leader) has accepted my resignation. On official statement is expected soon. UNC PRO may assist," Mahabir said.
In a brief telephone interview, Persad-Bissessar also confirmed that she received and accepted Mahabir's resignation.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has proposed fresh amendments to the Freedom of Information Act after he says he was taken aback by the public reaction to the proposed changes.
But the AG says the law must be changed to protect the system from ‘UNC lawyers who are milking the system.’
The Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) has joined the voices of non-governmental organizations, other professional bodies and citizens, calling for the postponement of the passage of the proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act Chap 22:02.
The Chamber said in a statement Tuesday that there has been no consultation with stakeholders on the introduction of the proposed legislation in Parliament.
No T&T permanent residency or citizenship for Venezuelan registration applicants, says National Security Minister Stuart Young.
He was responding to remarks by the Venezuelan Ambassador Carlos Perez that registrants may have a chance for permanent residence or citizenship with the current registration drive.
Young also responded similarly when queried on the matter by the Opposition in Parliament on Monday.
Any attempt by the Government to stifle the public's freedom to information will be met with court action, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar warned on Monday night.
Although debate on the Miscellaneous Provisions (Tax Amnesty, Pensions, Freedoms of Information, National Insurance, Central Bank and non-profit organisations) Bill 2019 had been scheduled for Parliament, Persad-Bissessar took time off to attend the United National Congress' Monday Night Forum at Naparima College in San Fernando.
Contending that democracy is now under threat, former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has threatened to mount a public campaign to stop the government from amending the Freedom of Information Act without public consultation.
During a press conference at his office in San Fernando, Maharaj said the proposed amendments were not in the public interest and will hinder people from accessing the Act to get government-held information.
A mass appeal by at least 30 private bodies, including the Law Association of T&T (LATT) is trying to force the Government to withdraw the Clause 7 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The LATT, in a media release yesterday, said it supported the call for public consultation on the proposed amendments to the FOIA.
"The FOIA has become a cornerstone in civil society’s effort to hold public authorities to account.