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Rowley: Max blanked on Jack’s visit to US
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says President George Maxwell Richards was not informed of National Security Minister Jack Warner’s visit to the United States from June 27 to 28. Rowley said there was a legal requirement for the Prime Minister to advise the President of an acting appointment during a minister’s absence. He raised the issue during a public meeting of the PNM in San Juan on Tuesday night.
Addressing supporters, Rowley said he subsequently wrote to the President seeking to find out who acted for Warner during his absence, as there was no mention of any acting appointment for Warner in the Gazette. He said the President’s office said it had not been informed of Warner’s absence.
Rowley added: “Once you leave your office and you go outside your territorial waters there is a requirement for the Prime Minister to appoint an acting minister and that appointment must be done by the Prime Minister informing the President, who will then appoint the person to act and that appointment is recorded in the Gazette.”
He said he wrote President Richards seeking to find out “when he left and who acted for him. Tonight I can inform you that I have been informed by the Office of the President that there was no information about Jack Warner leaving this country and nobody acting for him and that is why it was not in the Gazette.” Rowley called on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to explain the incident.
On another issue, Rowley said he also wanted to know how economist Jwala Rambarran could have been given the job as Central Bank Governor over deputy governor Shelton Nicholls and the bank’s chief economist Dr Alvin Hilaire. The Prime Minister said her People’s Partnership Cabinet selected Rambarran for the job last Friday, replacing Ewart Williams.
Rowley said he wanted to put the nation on notice that “a puppet Central Bank Governor and a puppet Central Bank Board was a dagger aimed at the heart of the people of T&T Meanwhile, Opposition MP Colm Imbert, who also addressed the meeting, said Warner would be the worst National Security Minister ever. He said if the current murder rate was maintained the year-end figure would be 580.
The former Works and Transport Minister said Warner would not retain his portfolio for long as he would be reshuffled before 2015. “He is going to be a dismal failure,” he added. Imbert said Warner would “mash up” the Police Service and demoralise the officers.
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