COP wants PM to fire Jack
By Andre Bagoo Wednesday, September 5 2012
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OFFICIALS of the Congress of the People (COP) yesterday renewed pressure on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to take action in relation to Minister of National Security Jack Warner from her Cabinet.
Party officials confirmed the National Council of the party will on Sunday be called upon to pass a resolution calling on the Prime Minister to remove Warner from Cabinet over FIFA allegations against him; the findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to a secret US fund account and the question of a police investigation in relation to FIFA allegations.
A resolution, signed by the acting COP chairman Vernon B De Lima, circulated on social network website Facebook yesterday. De Lima confirmed the authenticity of the resolution, to be tabled in his name, and went so far as to say he would resign if it does not pass. The resolution, to be discussed at COP Operations Centre, Charlieville on Sunday, reads, “Whereas the Congress of the People’s stated position of two years ago was that Mr Jack Warner should not be a member of Cabinet until such time as he is cleared of the allegations that have been made against him by FIFA.”
“And whereas the situation is now worse than it was two years ago since the Court of Arbitration for Sport in its recent written judgment published on its website on the 24th of July of 2012 has said that Mr Jack Warner is a man who cannot be trusted, that he has secret US fund accounts, that he mingles funds periodically and that he is a man ‘who appears to be prone to an economy with the truth’.”
“And whereas Mr Jack Warner is at present under investigation by the Trinidad and Tobago Police.”
“And whereas having regard to the Congress of the People’s stated position about matters of transparency, truthfulness and decency, it must continue to be our position that Mr Jack Warner should not be a member of Cabinet at this time.”
“Therefore be it resolved that the Congress of the People call on the Hon Prime Minister to remove Mr Jack Warner from the Cabinet; failing which the Congress of the People will dissociate itself entirely from the People’s Partnership.”
Contacted yesterday, De Lima confirmed the authenticity of the resolution to be tabled in his name and told Newsday he would resign from the party if the National Council fails to pass it.
“I will resign immediately,” he said. “I will take my parachute and jump out of the ship. I have no problem with that. However, I do not think that it will come to that as I feel that the majority of the party comprises people of standards.”
“I think this resolution is of fundamental importance and I am very anxious to see the reception it will get,” he said. The National Council comprises the National Executive, Parliamentary Caucus, Youth Members, Women’s Forum and Tobago Congress.
The developments came as the COP prepares to hold National Executive elections in October.
Also yesterday, COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar issued a press release in relation to “a senior Cabinet minister” calling on that Minister to choose between private and public interests.
While the press release did not name Warner, De Lima said the release was issued after Warner’s role as a minister was considered by the National Executive. Ramadhar was said to be in meetings and declined to take calls or respond to messages and queries.
The press release stated the National Executive (20 members including political leader; four deputy leaders, chairman, deputy chairman and secretaries) met on Monday evening and discussed the question of a Cabinet minister’s handling of private versus public duties and whether these may be in conflict.
The COP release called on holders of public office to apply “the highest standards of ethical and political conduct in the public interest.”