As Chairman of the United National Congress, it is my view that former Minister of Housing Marlene McDonald has perspicuously violated and transgressed the Parliamentary Hiring Regulations through the reported employment of her Common-law Husband. The hiring regulations of the Parliament both before and after its policy change has always categorically prohibited Members of Parliament from hiring their spouses, contrary to the reported actions undertaken by the Member of Parliament for Port -of -Spain South.
The Opposition Leader Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar has neither been engaged nor committed a similar infringement as she did not employ immediate family members. The Member of Parliament for Siparia staffed her Constituency Office for over 15 years based on the Regulations and Guidelines of the Parliamentary Hand Book which prohibited Family members defined as Spouses, Children, Siblings and Parents from being hired; none of which were ever employed by the Member of Parliament.
These regulations remained consistent and unchanged until unknowingly to the Senior Members of Parliament who have always adhered to the Regulations set out by the Parliament were adjusted in late 2015. It is quite unfortunate and injudicious that the Parliament chose to imprudently change the regulations governing employment of Constituency Offices bereft of consultation.
As a result of the conclusive evidence provided, the nation can corroborate that the Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar’s situation is different to that of Marlene McDonald and does not warrant her resignation.
As Chairman of the United National Congress and Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre I stand in full support of the Opposition and UNC Political Leader.