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Opposition criticises Speaker’s ‘way of doing things’ over MP’s expulsion

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MP Patrick Assirvaden expelled from parliament

Labour party parliamentary leader, Dr Arvin Boolell has criticised the “way of doing things” of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Sooroojdev Phokeer. The latter expelled Labour MP Patrick Assirvaden from Parliament on Tuesday July 13, for “disorderly conduct”, while Civil Services Minister Vikram Hurdoyal was answering a question from MP Osman Mahomed.

Dr Boolell described the decision as “unfair” and “baseless”.

Mohamed’s question was about the death of Faheza Mooniaruth, a former Office Management Executive of the Ministry of Health on June 9, in circumstances that remain a mystery.

It is a common practice not to mention someone’s name in Parliament, the more so that the government official allegedly jumped (or fell) from the 9th floor of the Government-owned Emmanuel Anquetil Building in Port Louis.

However, Minister Vikram Hurdoyal reportedly mentioned the woman’s name several times during his speech, l’Express newspaper reported.

Assirvaden reportedly protested to the name being mentioned seeking the Speaker’s attention for the faux-pas, but was himself expelled from Parliament. “It is a lack of respect for the memory of the deceased and her family,” Asirvaden was quoted as saying as he walked out.

Minister Hurdoyal said two inquiries are underway, and the exact circumstances of the fall are not yet known. However, he suggested that the victim was “depressed” – referring to medical reports.

Opposition MPs criticized the “hasty conclusion” of the Minister, almost suggesting that the official committed suicide.

“Did anyone see the lady jump from the top of the building?” Osman Mohamed asked. The Minister reportedly remained silent.

Opposition MPs and the victim’s widower claim she was being harassed at work.

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