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MPs respond to Roberts’ resignation
Ex-Sport Minister Anil Roberts’ resignation has drawn a mixed reaction among several past and present members of Parliament from the People’s Partnership, including ILP chairman Jack Warner, MP for Chaguanas West.
After Roberts resigned on Thursday under a cloud of allegations arising from the Life Sport programme, Winston Dookeran, former leader of the Congress of the People (COP), the party to which Roberts belongs, said, “ I think it was inevitable at this point. The principles of accountability had to be adhered to.”
But COP MP Lincoln Douglas, who asked Anil Roberts to contest D’Abadie O’Meara in 2010, says the situation concerning Roberts is very sad.
“It is really sad for me. Anil was someone who I’d asked to run in that area in 2010. I had run in that seat in 2007, but I moved across to contest Lopinot/Bon Air West in 2010. We all believed in his Spalk show on the radio at the time and when they were talking about someone for that seat, I felt based on his statements on the radio he’d have been a good representative.”
COP Arima MP Rodger Samuel said, “I just have to pray for him continuously.”
Warner: Anil was my friend
Following Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s statements on myriad Life Sport irregularities in the Finance Ministry audit and her referral of the audit report to various legal bodies for probe and action, ILP’s Jack Warner wrote to the PM calling on her to revoke Roberts’ ministerial appointment.
Warner himself had resigned from the PP Government in 2013 after the Simmons tribunal report on Concacaf issues.
After the PM announced Thursday that she had revoked Roberts’ appointment, Warner said he felt Roberts had been fired. He noted the Prime Minister’s revocation announcement was made first and that Roberts’ resignation followed.
Warner said ILP’s next August 10 meeting will start seeking an ILP member to act as a shadow candidate to look after the constituency.
“This situation with Anil is also a bitter one for me because Anil was my friend.”
PNM has shadow MP
The opposition PNM has a coordinator for D’Abadie/ O’Meara in the form of PNM Labour Relations officer Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, PNM deputy leader Rohan Sinanan says. PNM had appointed coordinators last month for various PP-held seats to organise and mobilise seats for PNM’s constituency elections and general elections. On Anil Roberts’ resignation, PNM whip Marlene McDonald added, “The best thing he could have done was resign...this was his programme...didn’t he talk to the director of his programme? So all the time he’s accusing us in PNM of this and that, while in his own Ministry, Rome was burning!”
Griffith: No comment
However, National Security Minister Gary Griffith who had voiced concerns about the Life Sport programme, said he had “no comment on Mr Roberts’ statements.” He said he was on a weeklong vacation.