Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Opposition pressures Gov't on NIDS passage

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Parliamentary Opposition is seeking to make a case that Government lawmakers breached the Standing Orders or the rules of Parliament last week when they passed Senate amendments to the controversial National Identification and Registration Act, 2017, or NIDS.

Leader of Opposition Business in the Lower House Phillip Paulwell yesterday moved a motion calling for the Standing Orders Committee to meet urgently to examine several issues that transpired during the sitting.

The motion indicated that Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips, on November 21, sought to table a motion in relation to the NIDS law in keeping with the Standing Orders.

Paulwell's motion asserted that disorder triggered a suspension of the sitting of the House of Representatives for 20 minutes. He argued that the period of suspension lasted for longer than 20 minutes without an extension being granted.

The motion also noted that at the agenda item 'Bills Brought from the Senate', the prime minister had earlier indicated that the amendments to the NIDS Bill would be taken at a later date.

However, the motion states that when the sitting was resumed, the prime minister reversed his previous position and sought and received the Speaker's approval for the amendments from the Senate to be considered at that time.

He indicated that the amendments from the Senate were approved en bloc without each clause being considered and voted on.

On November 21, the parliamentary Opposition did not return to the sitting after the 20-minute break, which extended beyond an hour.