Nicholson angers senators with flexi-rape comment
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
A retort by A.J. Nicholson, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate that the proposed flexi-work law could lead to an increase in rape and other forms of abuse against women, today caused a stir in the Upper House.
"What? Flexi rape?" Nicholson questioned.
Marlene Malahoo Forte, an opposition senator, was making her contribution to the bill when Nicholson made the comment which he later called “a little joke”.
Obviously taken aback by Nicholson’s utterance, Malahoo Forte stood with her mouth wide open. Not a word. Then time passed.
But the parliamentary opposition would not let the comment slip.
No sooner had the debate on the bill ended, than Kamina Johnson Smith rose to condemn the comment which she said was “unworthy”.
She sought the intervention of Floyd Morris, the president of the Senate, who requested that Nicholson withdrew the comment.
Hesitantly, Nicholson obliged, but not before a protest.
“Man caah run a joke again? Naah withdraw nothing,” said the Senate Leader, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
“Man making a little joke,” he continued.
With Morris insisting, Nicholson rose and asked what was required of him. Having yet again been instructed, he said “Withdrawn! Withdrawn! I meant no offence, I was just running a little joke.”
Johnson Smith, however, said there could be no light side to such serious matter.
“It's unworthy, and that you are defending it is sad,” she said.
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