Parliament gets Court date for Panday matter

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, March 30, 2007 – The House of Representatives is getting its day in Court Monday.

That is when Clerk of Parliament, Jacqui Sampson Jacent, will ask the High Court to make a ruling on whether Basdeo Panday can re-take his Couva North seat.

The seat was declared vacant last October 2006 as a result of Panday’s conviction in a case in which he was found guilty of concealing monies from the Integrity Commission while he was prime minister. That conviction was overturned last week and Panday returned to Parliament last week Wednesday to retake his seat.

As far as Parliament is concerned, the seat is vacant. Panday wanted Parliament, the highest law-making body in the land, to vote on the question of his return but the House of Representative decided instead to send that decision to the High Court. It therefore passed a resolution this week authorising the High Court to make a determination on the matter.

When Parliament convened Wednesday, Panday was present and prepared to speak but ten minutes into the sitting Leader of Government Business, Kenneth Valley, moved a motion for the adjournment of the house sine die.