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Rowley wants PM to clear air on probe into minister’s son (with CNC3 video)
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is again calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to clear the air on allegations that the son of a Government Minister is detained in the United States and was assisting investigators with a certain probe. He made the call during a meeting of the People’s National Movement in Arima on Tuesday night. The Prime Minister has maintained she has no information on the matter.
The Sunday Guardian reported the matter exclusively two weeks ago. Rowley said the PM had a responsibility to speak out on it. He added: “If a member of our Cabinet has connections to a person, when there are allegations floating all around the world about criminal conduct, mainly money laundering, it is irresponsible for the Prime Minister to turn a blind eye and pretend she doesn’t know what is going on.”
He called on Persad-Bissessar to make a comprehensive statement on the matter or resign. He said he was “not asking the PM to condemn the young man. I am not asking her to make unfounded allegations against Mr Warner.” Rowley said he was asking her to use the respect and sovereignity T&T has in the United States to get the T&T ambassador to ask the US State Department “what is going on with your minister and his appendages.”
The Diego Martin West MP also claimed bid-rigging was taking place in the award of transport and cleaning contracts in the municipal corporations. He claimed that was being done by the Solid Waste Management Company Ltd (SWMCOL). He said a certain contractor who failed to get a $40 million contract at NP in 2010 was the main beneficiary, as he was securing most of the contracts.
Efforts to contact Local Government Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan for comment proved futile yesterday. Rowley also criticised the Government for seeking to appeal a judgment in favour of Clico policyholders who challenged the proposed resolution of the Clico matter and won. Rowley said the PNM had warned the Government it would be challenged in court and that it would lose the matter.
In a statement yesterday, chairman of the Clico Policyholders Group, Peter Permell, also expressed support for Rowleys comments in support of the policyholders relative to last week’s landmark judgment by Justice Joan Charles. Permell said the judge ruled that the Peoples Partnership Government acted unlawfully when it reneged on the sovereign guarantee of the previous PNM Government by not paying EFPA policyholders 100 per cent of the terms and conditions of their annuity contracts.
Permell said it was a Government guarantee which policyholders relied upon to roll over their investments in Clico. He called on Rowley not to stop there. He said Rowley must now “go further and state for the public record, should a general election be called and he becomes prime minister, whether or not, he will faithfully honour the guarantee of the former PNM administration.”
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