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D Gisele Isaac, the chairperson of the United Progressive Party (UPP), has defended the decision of UPP members to leave their seats vacant during the recent Senate sitting and House of Representatives on Tuesday.
She claimed that the Senators’ absence was due to a lack of respect from the government towards the opposition. In an interview on Observer AM, she explained that the government had made it clear that they did not want to hear from the UPP, which led to the Senators’ decision not to attend the session.
The UPP is planning a public event on January 11, where opposition representatives and Senators will present their analysis of the 2024 budget.
She reiterated that she felt the decision not to grant the opposition more time to prepare for the December 19 budget debate was unfair and unreasonable.
She also argued that one business day was insufficient to prepare properly and deliver a presentation. She added that the opposition’s elected representatives were still in the process of preparing their presentations on the day of the budget debate.
The budget presentation was made on December 15, and initially, the debate was proposed for December 18. However, the opposition objected, claiming that they needed more time to prepare and demanded the standard timeframe of a week.
The government shifted the date to December 19, but the opposition continued to insist on December 21, saying they needed more time.
They reiterated that they would not participate in the debate if it occurred before their given date. Following a vote, the budget debate was scheduled for December 19, and as a result, the opposition was absent from the discussion.