One of the member-parties of the People's Partnership Government, the Congress of the People (COP), is calling for Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner to "step aside from his ministerial responsibilities" pending the completion of continuing investigations into allegations of bribery brought against him. Warner, vice president of world football governing body, Fifa, is to answer the charge before the organisation's Ethics Committee. He maintains his innocence claiming a conspiracy against him. The COP, in a statement signed by its chairman Joseph Toney and issued at the weekend, said it is with distress that it takes note of the developments involving Warner in Fifa.
Toney said: "A critical aspect of good governance is the maintenance of standards of ethics and integrity among those entrusted with high public office." Toney, a former National Security minister said: "Given the nature of the allegations and the decision of the Ethics Committee of Fifa, we expect that the minister will do the right thing and step aside pending the completion of those investigations." And MP for Arouca/Maloney Alicia Hospedales said yesterday Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar must revoke Warner's appointment. She wanted to know why former planning minister Mary King was dismissed immediately certain allegations were made against her while Warner was not be sidelined with bribery charges against him by Fifa. She feels the country's international image remains at stake while Warner retains his ministerial portfolio.