— continues to preside over and encourage the worst type of brutal partisan warfare in the Parliament by her partisan level of division, mistrust and animosity.
Commentary by Capil Bissoon
If there is any one person in Trinidad and Tobago responsible for single-handedly destroying our democracy by stifling parliamentary debates, it is the PNM Speaker of the House of Representatives, Brigid Annisette-George.
Just when one would think the Speaker could not get worse, all doubts were removed during the last session of the Lower House for the current year.
And all this to protect her Political Leader, Prime Minister Keith Christopher Rowley who rewards her immediate family with over $80,000 per month in PNM patronage.
Up for debate last Friday was the confirmation by the HoR of the Appointments of McDonald Jacob as Acting Commissioner of Police and Deputy CoPs Mrs. Erla Christopher and Wendell Williams.
Madame Annisette-George immediately signaled her intention to stymie this critical debate and from the start, it was clear that she had made up her mind that there was not going to be any fulsome debate which would have allowed free discussion on relevant matters of interest to the population.
The only items allowed for discussion were the names of the three and their CVs.
As a result of her rulings, there was no significant discussion on: (1) the events and processes leading to the three names before the House, or (2) whether the selection process was tainted by government interference, or (3) why eminently qualified Andre Norton who reportedly gained 77 % compared to Christopher’s 74% on the aborted merit list for COP was not on the new list before parliament (Express 13 December 2021), or (4) what were the track records of the three nominees given the job requirements, or (5) why some of the nominees had limited time before retirement given the period it takes to get on top of the job, the need to cater for succession planning and the escalating crime situation in the country.
A burning issue was whether these three individuals had the testicular fortitude to stand up to a bullying Rowley if he were ever minded asking them to falsely charge a citizen including opposition MPs.
Was this why Norton was not considered? A vigorous debate would have provided answers.
A real debate would have placed us all in a much better position to assess the three nominees.
Annisette-George apparently had other ideas.
She continued to invoke standing orders on her own accord to stifle Opposition speakers.
Bridget Annisette-George is a nuisance, a PNM operative, a shameless recipient of significant state patronage and, in my view, a blight on free and open debates in parliament.
Fortunately, the world is watching.
Over 1400 parliamentarians from over one hundred countries have taken note. “Parliamentarians For Global Action” warns us that “the election in TT of a Police Commissioner uncovered deep rooted discrepancies within the country’s institutions and procedures.”
Noting these discrepancies, the PGA warns that “the separation of powers is a cornerstone of democratic systems.”
Brigid Annisette-George continues to preside over and encourage the worst type of brutal partisan warfare in the Parliament by her partisan level of division, mistrust and animosity.
So run your run, Annisette-George. You may be a PNM big sarwatee Goddess in TT Parliament. In my books you are a nobody bent on destroying our democracy.
You are indeed the worst Speaker in our history and in the Commonwealth.