It would seem that former minister in the Ministry of National Security Collin Partap is not receiving any sympathy from his government colleagues, as Local Government Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan is supporting his dismissal.
Rambachan joins Minister of National Security Jack Warner in agreeing with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s decision to fire Partap, after he reportedly refused to submit a breath specimen at the Belmont Police Station on Sunday morning. Warner, in a news release on Monday, said the dismissal was in keeping with Government’s decree that no one was above the law. Speaking to reporters yesterday after his ministry’s Walk Through Time programme, at Kent House, Maraval, Rambachan said Persad-Bissessar showed good leadership in dealing with the issue.
He said the PM’s choice proved to the nation that the Government had high standards and values in the way it operated. “I support the decision taken by the Prime Minister...What she has demonstrated is that this Government is committed to functioning on the basis of strong values and principles and she is therefore setting higher standards as a leader for governance in the country,” he said. Commenting on ministers’ use of government vehicles for personal business, Rambachan defended this by saying often their work and personal lives were intertwined. However, Rambachan said he used his own vehicle whenever he has to do personal business.
Asked whether Partap was ethical in using a government vehicle for personal use, Rambachan said: “That is a difficult one, because a lot of times we are involved in activities 24 hours of the day and that criss-crosses between personal and government work. But I want to tell you that in my own case, where my personal work is concerned, I use my own vehicle.” He said the loss of Partap would not weaken the performance of the Ministry of National Security as the Government was equipped with many competent people. He said with the many projects such as school expansion, URP and road rehabilitation being done, it was evident that the Government was up to the task of running the country.