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Opposition backs Govt’s choice
High Court judge Anthony Carmona, named by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as the Government’s nomination for President, said the job begins with the “man in the mirror.” In a brief television interview shortly after the PM made the announcement yesterday evening, Carmona said: “It begins with the man in the mirror. I feel I can do genuine, honest service to all citizens. I have been in public service all my life.
“When the call came, I felt I had a responsibility to the national community to join the silent vanguard who wants to benefit society.” The PM made the announcement after a day of meetings with parliamentarians and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. The PNM had submitted Justice Rolston Nelson SC of the Caribbean Court of Justice as its choice but is happy with the Government’s choice of Carmona as the next President and will, in fact, be seconding his nomination.
The PNM’s PRO Senator Al-Rawi said that shortly after Persad-Bissessar’s announcement. “The PNM would be happy to indicate its support by seconding the nomination,” Al-Rawi said in a brief telephone interview last night. He said following consultations between the Opposition and the Government earlier in the day, the PM indicated she would go back to a meeting with parliamentarians and, prior to making her announcement, would speak to Rowley.
“She did and said the Government would be looking at Carmona. Dr Rowley indicated that Carmona was someone the Opposition would be very happy to support,” Al-Rawi added. He said the Opposition remained confident Nelson stood out as a man of utmost excellence.
“Unfortunately, the Government has not agreed to our recommendation and Nelson had said he would only move forward if there was consensus by both Government and Opposition,” he said.
Rowley, in a television interview last night, said he was “not really surprised” when Carmona was announced as the Government’s nomination. “His name was up in the pile and we indicated that is the kind of person we feel should hold this post,” he said. Rowley said the process of consultation used by the Government and the Opposition in the selection of the next President was a bit late in coming but he was pleased with it.
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