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Rowley: For protecting Jack, PM must go

Friday, July 19, 2013
Political leader of the People’s National Movement Dr Keith Rowley, left, raises the arm of the party’s Chaguanas West by-election candidate, Avinash Singh, after speaking at a meeting in New Settlement, Caroni, on Wednesday night. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE

Leader of the Opposition People’s National Movement Dr Keith Rowley says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar must go for protecting former Chaguanas West MP and former minister Jack Warner for three years. He also claimed several ministers had become multi-millionaires since coming in to office. As examples, he alleged one minister  had $3 million in their  car trunk and another went to purchase a $4 million house in Ellerslie Park, St Clair, in cash. Rowley said so during the first public meeting of the party at New Settlement Recreation Ground, Caroni, on Wednesday night in support of its candidate for the July 29 Chaguanas West by-election. Persad-Bissessar admitted during a meeting of her United National Congress (UNC) on Monday that she protected Warner for three years. It was at the same UNC meeting that the PM spoke about Warner refusing to travel with her on Government business in the US, Haiti and Canada because he was of interest to the US authorities.



Rowley said Wednesday the PM “is now telling you that since last November Jack Warner can’t travel. What PM of T&T could know and could have in the Cabinet a minister who has that problem.” He added: “In Trinidad and Tobago the PM could know that your situation is so bad, that you lost your (US) Green Card and she doesn’t do a thing, she doesn’t say a thing until the same person triggers a by-election in Chaguanas... so she knew since last year November that the US authorities were interested in him and that certain actions can result in him having a new status.” Rowley continued: “The Prime Minister didn’t say a word, she was quite content then for the minister to stay home, to evade the US authorities while the meeting took place. “Only now in this debacle she is telling us that it wasn’t only Haiti he didn’t go, he didn’t go to a meeting in Canada too. “What manner of PM is this, where you could tell a minister I want you to go to India with me, Canada , Haiti and the minister is saying I am not coming. “And the PM knows the reason why he is not going up in the air and she tolerates and encourages it.”


Rowley reminded his audience that the PM admitted to protecting Warner for three years days earlier. “So the PM has admitted to protecting criminal conduct in the Cabinet of T&T and tonight I call for her resignation,” Rowley added. Earlier he said Persad-Bissessar must answer certain questions. He asked: “Who was the minister with $3 million in his car trunk? He said it was only after Cabinet ministers “fall out they reveal to you what the other one was doing.” He said that in the wake of remarks by Persad-Bissessar about former MP and minister Jack Warner’s US Green Card. Rowley said he wanted the PM to “identify the million-dollar properties you all have been buying abroad in Canada.” He posed another question to the PM. “Do we have to wait to find out which minister right now is living in a $4 million house that he didn’t buy because the transfer had not been done?” Rowley posed another question: “How long, how long, Oh Lord, shall we wait for the Prime Minister to tell us which minister went to buy a house in Ellerslie Park with cash?”


Dealing with Persad-Bissessar’s claim that Warner’s money seemed to be coming from a bottomless pit, Rowley said she did not want that question answered “when Jack Warner’s money was paying for her hair-stylist, to fix teeth, to fix clothes, paying their mortgage, paying their man, paying their woman, they had no interest from where the money was coming from then.” He added that there were allegations that taxpayers money that went to the TTFF for World Cup football ended up in Jack Warner’s personal resources. “The Prime Minister knows that, she and Ramlogan have nothing to do about trying to find that money,” he added. He said: “All on a sudden, all these UNC people who were living like leeches off Jack Warner, all of a sudden that want to know where his money coming from.”


Rowley said Warner claimed he spent millions on the TOP campaign in the 2013 THA polls in January. Rowley said the PM was the “major beneficiary” of all of Warner’s resources as her Government “rode into office on Jack Warner’s largesse.” He said Persad-Bissessar had no problem when the police didn’t investigate Warner. Rowley said the Director of Public Prosecutions “instructed” the police to investigate Warner under the Customs Act for the (alleged) bribery matter. Rowley referred to Persad-Bissessar as Madonna, adding: “It is a lie for the Prime Minister to pretend that she didn’t know where Warner’s money was coming from.” 


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