Fire for National Security Minister Stuart Young today.
All of the Opposition’s 19 MPs will speak out against Young in tomorrow’s debate of the Opposition’s no confidence motion against him.
UNC MP Dave Tancoo confirmed this yesterday. Debate starts at 10 am in Parliament.
The Opposition’s motion will be led off by UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The Opposition, which is calling for Young to be fired as National Security Minister, has labelled the debate “The People versus Stuart Young.”
The Opposition has cited “one disaster after another” where Young is concerned, from migrant policy issues and rapid deterioration of national border security to the exemption process to enter T&T which UNC says is “riddled with discrimination, inequality and unfairness.”
The UNC has questioned Young’s position as the sole authority to issue exemptions and noted that while many citizens have been inexplicably delayed and given the run around,” close family members of the PNM administration seem to experience no problem with securing exemptions.”
Last week, ahead of the Opposition’s motion, Young announced a new exemption application process for the 8,000 people seeking to come to T&T.
Even those who have already applied for exemptions, now have to reapply. The Opposition has queried why he changed the system now after 10 months and has interpreted it as confirmation that Government knows the system was flawed.
Tancoo added, “Every Opposition MP has something to say (today). As the Opposition leader said, every instance in which he’s placed T&T’s security and reputation at risk will be detailed. And everybody in this country knows or is connected to someone who’s had to suffer through the poor exemption process. So there will be good reasons why Government must remove him as NS Minister – is real fire for Young (today).”
Persad-Bissessar, in her statement on the motion, called for “our colleagues on the Government side to see Mr Young for what he truly is – a clear and present danger to T&T’s national security.”
The Opposition hopes Government MPs will undertake a conscience vote, particularly since the UNC has 19 MPs and PNM has 22 MPs.
Tancoo said, “It’s very close for the vote on the motion. They have 22 MPs—and 21 as Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis is still on sick leave—and we have 19. So 21 PNM MPs against 19 UNC MPs aren’t numbers that Government can be comfortable with.”
A Government official said in recognition of the tight numbers, all PNM MPs are on point to attend Parliament today and the PNM will be “firing back” with its own “revelations”.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley, who was in Tobago for the Tobago House of Assembly campaign and elections, returned yesterday afternoon and is expected to speak in today’s debate to defend Young.
“And if the PM doesn’t speak to defend Young, we’ll all know what that means….” Tancoo added.