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Incumbent chairman of the Congress of the People (COP) Joseph Toney has described Dr Keith Rowley’s attack on Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith as “shameless and hypocritical.”
On Thursday, Rowley slammed Hamel-Smith for using his role as acting President—in the absence of President George Maxwell Richards—to be a rubber stamp for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the Section 34 fiasco. Responding to Rowley’s attack, Toney said when Hamel-Smith was appointed President of the Senate he had recluse himself from all political activity in the COP.
“For him (Rowley) to say that Hamel-Smith is playing political games when he gave his reply to his petition...the signatures to which nobody knows, where are they?”
Toney asked Rowley where was his voice when Dr Linda Baboolal and Danny Montano, noted PNMs, were appointed President of the Senate and had to act as President of the republic. Rowley called for a review of the “arrangement for the Presidency” which allows for an “active politician” to take over the reins of the country’s highest office when the substantive President is absent.
“Today, because he’s upset with the response he got from Hamel-Smith, he is calling for constitutional reform. Where was Rowley and the PNM when all the trade unions and NGOs were clamouring for constitutional reform? How convenient!”
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