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Analyst: Pass law for PM to get aide
A simple bill taken by the Government to Parliament will solve the issue of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar needing a nurse or personal assistant. Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath yesterday said the bill would need a simple majority to be passed. The matter was again brought to the fore on Tuesday when Persad-Bissessar fell ill in Barbados.
“When the issue of the Prime Minister needing a personal assistant was first raised, the Government should have taken a simple bill to Parliament on whether or not the Prime Minister must be allowed a personal assistant, and that would have solved the problem way back when,” Ragoonath said.
Whether the Prime Minister needed a nurse instead would also have to be solved by way of a bill presented in Parliament, he added. He said in either instance, the selected person would be paid by the State. And whether or not the assistant or nurse would be Persad-Bissessar’s sister Vidwatie Newton, that would be the Prime Minister’s personal choice, Ragoonath said.
Saying Queen Elizabeth has a personal assistant and several other people who accompany her on trips, Ragoonath added, however, “But I would not put the Prime Minister in the same boat or the plane as the Queen.” Persad-Bissessar has also fallen ill on several other occasions.
On October 1, 2011, Persad-Bissessar was admitted to St Clair Medical Centre after complaining of feeling unwell. When she was discharged, she said she suffered from diabetes and hypertension but was fine otherwise. Her attending physician at that time was Dr Dixon Marchack, an internal medicine specialist whose area of expertise also covers heart-related health.
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