WHEREAS the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has recently spent in excess of 1.9 million dollars on an advertising campaign to persuade the general public to put pressure on Members of Parliament to support three Bills (viz.: the Police Service Reform Bill, 2004, the Police Complaints Authority Bill, 2004, and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2004).
AND WHEREAS the objective of this advertising campaign was clearly political in that it was designed with the end in mind being that UNC Members of Parliament would be pressured directly or indirectly by their constituents to support the said Bills.
AND WHEREAS it has never been contemplated that public funds lawfully made available for use by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago ought to be used by the Government to further its effective political agenda; i.e., to secure by intimidation, pressure or otherwise the vote of Opposition Members of Parliament to pass any Bills;
AND WHEREAS the said advertisements accordingly may constitute contempt of the Parliament.
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that this House condemns the use of State funds for party political purposes by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this House recommends to the Government that steps be taken to have all those persons responsible for ordering and/or allowing the use of State Funds for the said advertisements repay same to the Treasury forthwith failing which this debt shall attach to their persons and property jointly and severally and be enforceable in the same way as if it were a judgement enforceable by the High Court of Justice.
(By Senator Robin Montano)
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