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Pressure mounts for action on Mr Bush, but Opposition divided on removal

The Opposition bench has issued a joint statement calling for the Government to take what they call necessary steps to deal the ongoing controversy surrounding House Speaker Hon. McKeeva Bush’s arrest.
However, one Opposition MLA has opted to distance himself from that position saying Mr Bush should be given a chance to clear his name.

“We do not want to come across as being the disruptive force,” the Opposition Leader said making clear the Opposition bench is not seeking to upset the apple cart for the government. But he said the current situation requires action.

“We empathise with his situation, it is embarrassing to the country. We think the Government needs to deal with it and we think the Government has some options that they can deal with,” Mr Miller said.

Among those options; House Speaker Hon McKeeva Bush stepping down which is what the Opposition bench alluded to in a statement they issued today (21 July.)

In that statement they called on the Government of National Unity to “take the necessary action to restore dignity, honour and prestige to the position of the Speaker.”

However fellow Opposition MLA Kenneth Bryan takes a different approach.

“We have to presume his innocence before we presume guilty. I have been in that situation before and I know what it feels like. And I think every body should have the right to that,” he said.

While he says he agrees with the position that the situation is embarrassing he said does not want to recreate turmoil in government.

“With the agreements made for the National Unity government they have, it brings the numbers into a very unstable ratio and the country does not need any more instability,” he said.

Mr Miller said he agrees there is a presumption of innocence, but he said something has to be done. He also adds Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin’s silence on the matter has a reason.

“I have no problem with the Premier giving the Speaker some latitude and room to do what needs to be done himself because that is the way it would normally happen. Anywhere else in the Caribbean that resignation would have been tendered a long time ago,” the Opposition Leader said.

Mr Miller said he understands Mr Bryan’s position on the matter, but he maintains at this time what is best for the country needs to be done.
The Opposition Leader says there is no deadline for the government to act. But he said he hopes that something happens before the LA meets next month.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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