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Govt closes down Parliament 1st time in 100 years

Clark Govt closes down Parliament - 1st time in 100 years

ACT Leader Rodney Hide said tonight he was appalled that Michael Cullen had deliberately withheld Ministers from the House to collapse Parliament just after 7:30pm.

"It was a very serious anti-democratic measure that Cullen did in a fit of anger," Mr Hide said.

Parliament was scheduled to sit until 10 pm.

"It's the first time that Parliament has been shut down by the lack of a quorum since July 1905. The last time was a mistake. This time it was deliberate.

"Labour shut down Parliament to have dinner with the Indonesian President. If Cullen can shut down Parliament for dinner, he can shut down Parliament for any reason.

"Not even the late Sir Robert Muldoon shut down Parliament like this.

"The Clark Government shut down Parliament on Members' Day at the expense of a Green Party bill.

"ACT denied the Government leave to shut down Parliament early. We did want to debate Members' Bills and also Teacher Education and the financial review of the Northland Polytechnic.

"The deliberate shutting down of Parliament by withholding a quorum shows just how arrogant Helen Clark and Michael Cullen have got. It's a dangerous precedent that a government would shut down our Parliament for its own convenience," Mr Hide said.


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