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Issue with Warner in Cabinet—Rowley

Published: 
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley reacts while addressing supporters during Wednesday night’s political meeting in Maloney. Photo: Marcus Gonzales

Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar should relieve suspended FIFA vice president Jack Warner of his role as Works and Transport Minister in the interest of good governance. Rowley made the statement at a People’s National Movement (PNM) special meeting at the Maloney Shopping Complex, Maloney, on Wednesday night. Rowley, in delivering his feature address to a crowd of about 500 supporters, said he had no problem with Warner’s FIFA portfolio when he was an Opposition MP but took issue after he was announced as a Cabinet Minister after last year’s general election.

He said: “I am making no personal crusade against Warner, the man, but I have serious issue with him as a Cabinet Minister. “He (Warner) has portrayed T&T’s image in a poor light internationally. We could have avoided that.” Rowley also called on Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs to investigate the alleged meeting between Mohammed bin Hamman and Caribbean Football Union (CFU) members between May 10 and 11 that led to Warner’s eventual suspicion by FIFA’s Ethics Committee. He said: “The last thing the Government should want to do is to send a message to the misguided youth that some people are above the law or their office is too high for the law.”

Although Warner’s suspension was the main talking point for the speakers at the meeting ,which included Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert, Opposition senator Terrence Deyalsingh and Arouca/Maloney MP Alicia Hospedales, other “scandals” during the People’s Partnership’s first year in Government were cited, much to the delight of the supporters.  In his address Rowley assured PNM supporters the Opposition would continue to press the Government on major issues affecting T&T. When mentioning the fiasco, involving NP’s award of a $40 million contract for gasoline hauling to Gopaul and Company Ltd, Rowley said: “They (the Government) thinks the report will get lost in the FIFA/Warner issue. “The PNM has gotten wary, yet, we (PNM) are on your trail.”

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