Anti-Gang bill would save lives and protect communities in T&T

The Opposition refused to use their vote in Parliament to save lives and protect the communities of Trinidad and Tobago when they failed to support The Anti-Gang Bill, 2017.

This according to Prime Minister Dr the Hon. Keith Rowley who was speaking at a media conference today (Thursday 7 December, 2017) which was hosted before the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Debate began on the Bill yesterday (Wednesday 6 December, 2017) and ended in the wee hours of this morning. Government was unable to secure the three fifths majority needed to pass the Bill. The result of the vote was 21 for, 12 against, 1 abstention.

Prime Minister Rowley said despite agreeing to every request made by the Opposition regarding changes to the Bill, the UNC did not vote to make the critical legislation law.

Dr Rowley revealed that as the debate was nearing an end he approached Opposition Chief Whip, David Lee and asked him what changes to the proposed law were needed to secure the Opposition’s support. The Prime Minister said David Lee communicated to him that the law should not apply to the crime of sedition and must include a sunset clause. However, inexplicably, after an agreement was made on these points the Opposition still voted against the Bill.

The Prime Minister noted that this latest failing by the Opposition was worse than Section 34, which was an abomination but only directly affected a small number of people. This legislation, he said, affects the life and livelihood of every, single person in Trinidad and Tobago.

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