Last update: 05-Dec-2013 8:03 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Rowley challenges Kamla: Produce proof of my friendship with Jack
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has challenged Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to show one action of his that could be interpreted as proof he had a relationship or conspiracy with ILP leader Jack Warner. Addressing the PNM’s Sangre Grande campaign meeting on Wednesday, Rowley sought to dispel Persad-Bissessar’s claim that Warner and Rowley were in cahoots to bring the People’s Partnership Government down. She warned that Warner’s votes would split the PP’s votes and the PNM would benefit.
At the PNM meeting, however, Rowley said: “I don’t need to conspire with anybody to bring down this Government...it coming down on its own.” Accusing the PM of being “deceptive and dishonest” in calling his name in the same breath as Warner’s, he said his first action after receiving his instruments of appointment in 2010 was to object to Persad-Bissessar’s appointing Warner to the Cabinet. Rowley said he’d consistently maintained since then that Warner was “unsuited and unsuitable to hold a cabinet position.”
Rowley said he had no problem with Warner being elected MP in 2010. “But the matter endeth there. From the very first day I’ve objected to Jack Warner being a cabinet member,” he added. He said he’d told the Prime Minister the issue wasn’t a matter of law but ethics, since Parliament had a code of ethics and Warner had failed that code. Rowley recalled the PM had said it was a matter of work ethics and Warner worked hard.
“She who defended him on hard work and late nights has now introduced into the politics the concept of lagahoo,” Rowley said. “That man you’re describing like that, you made him acting Prime Minister of my country, Madam, you made him Works Minister and National Security Minister, and while the whole country was asking if you’d gone mad, you said repeatedly you would defend him to the end and you described him as your rock.
“And now you have the gall to go on public platforms and tell voters not to vote for PNM, as Rowley and Jack Warner is friend.” Rowley said UNC councillors “ran to the PNM when polls were called, but PNM was no dustbin. “All the zandolees from UNC shamelessly found a hole with Warner’s party,” he added. Saying those who left the UNC had teamed up with the “worst prospect for leadership,” he said: “They’re all one and the same. Tobago people know calabash don’t bear pumpkin.”
Rowley added that Warner once said he was UNC “to the bone,” yet immediately formed a party after being blanked for the UNC’s Chaguanas West candidacy in July. “So where the bone went?” Rowley asked. He said one shouldn’t be surprised an ILP candidate was arrested for illegal arms and ammunition and that “anything goes” was the ILP’s way of operating. Noting the ILP never held an internal election, he queried who voted for its interim executive.
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