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Rowley reckless, says Saddam

Rowley reckless, says Saddam
…accuses PM of ‘dangerous misinformation’

THE Opposition United National Congress (UNC) says it has supported bills brought to Parliament by the Government over the past nine years, despite recent statements claiming otherwise.

This is according to Barataria/ San Juan Member of Parliament Saddam Hosein, who was speaking at the UNC news conference on Sunday morning, referring to statements made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during a Conversations with the Prime Minister forum, in San Fernando last week.

Hosein said the Prime Minister’s claim that the party was not enthused in supporting legislation was dangerous misinformation.

‘The reckless statements, the insulting, denigrating statements that he makes about persons who do not share a similar view with him…we have other prime ministers who passed through the office of prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago and they have never conducted themselves in such a despicable manner…he continuously has this narrative that the Opposition blocked legislation in Parliament. That is a complete lie, a total lie,’ he said.

Hosein said the parliamentary record shows the Opposition had supported approximately 35 instances of crime-fighting bills and made amendments over the past nine years.

These included the Administration of Justice Indictable Proceedings Amendment Bill 2023, the Firearms Amendment Bill 2022, the Summary Courts Amendment Bill 2021, the Miscellaneous Provisions Criminal Proceeding Bill 2021, the Sexual Offences Amendment Number 2 Bill 2021, the Firearms Amendment Bill 2021, the Sexual Offences Bill Amendment 2021, the Electronic Payments into Court and Out Of Court Bill 2020, and several others.

‘Our policy was always very clear, if you bring good legislation, we will support it. If you bring bad legislation, we will not support it. If you bring legislation that we think can be amended or fixed, we will do so. In several instances, the Opposition did in fact file amendments supporting the legislation,’ he said.

However, Hosein said law and legislation alone could not fight crime but that a holistic approach was needed. Without proper attention, he said, the problem would likely get worse.

‘You need policies, programmes for the youth, you need to build back the educational systems that we left. You need to give people jobs in this country. You need to give people hope and opportunity in this country. You cannot just go to the Parliament and pass laws and expect that to be a panacea for this crime,’ he said.

He also said, when in opposition, the People’s National Movement (PNM) offered little support to the People’s Partnership government in passing legislation, adding that the UNC would continue to speak on the issue of crime.

‘I want to tell Dr Rowley very clearly this morning, we will not stop talking about crime. We will continue to talk about crime because that is our duty; it is our duty to hold the Government to account. We will continue to speak about crime as it affects everyone,’ said Hosein.

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