Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Warner cries foul
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner said yesterday he would beg forgiveness every day for helping to bring the People’s Partnership Government into power. He said it was worse than the former PNM Government and he was misled into supporting it. Speaking in the budget debate, in the Lower House, Tower D, Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, he said he not only helped remove the PNM Government but had made things worse for the country and had heard allegations of corruption like never before in the country’s history. “Corruption in this country has become institutionalised and I, Jack Warner, contributed to that,” he said. Warner, who is now the leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), said if he had to go on his knees every day to say sorry to this country for what he did, he would.
He said the budget was a hoax, and while Finance Minister Larry Howai presented a $61 billion budget, several schools, including Union Presbyterian in Claxton Bay, remained closed weeks after the new term began. He accused the Prime Minister of seeking to divide the country by implementing many projects in government-controlled constituencies. Warner and Works and Infrastructure Minister Surujrattan Rambachan had a brief verbal clash during yesterday’s budget debate. Warner was accusing Rambachan of discrimination against PNM and ILP supporters.
He said Rambachan had told two individuals who asked for a certain road to be paved that he would not do that because of their allegiances. Warner said Rambachan had sworn that he was not going to assist people who were not supporting the government.
Rambachan, who was sitting opposite, challenged Warner to say where and when he had spoken those words. Rambachan accused Warner of paying people to make those claims on public platforms. Commenting on the appointment of Fyzabad MP Chandresh Sharma as Tourism Minister, Warner asked what sin Tobago had committed to deserve that minister. Tobago’s economy is dependent on the tourism industry. Warner was also critical of moves to reintroduce the property tax, saying the Government should level with the population but was afraid because of next month’s local government elections. In outlining some of his ILP positions if it were to become Government after the 2015 general election, Warner said constitutional reform was paramount; the term of Parliament should be increased from five years to seven and every government should have only one term. He said he would also propose that term of local government officers be increased to four years.
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