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Rowley: What kind of Govt is this?

By Clint Chan Tack Friday, May 23 2014

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday condemned Government for attempting to dodge burning questions about the conduct of a person alleged to be a government minister in a video that was broadcast on national television.

He categorically rejected a government statement which described the video as “a vicious attempt at character assassination” and an attempt to distract the population from the “very real positive changes” which the ruling People’s Partnership (PP) coalition has brought to the country during its four years in office.

Rowley said he was waiting to see how long it would take for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to take action and fire the minister in question. In the video, the alleged government minister is seen rolling a cigarette made of a substance resembling marijuana, partying with a young woman, a video cameraman and other individuals.

Responding to the statement issued by the Communications Ministry, Rowley declared, “Whaaaat!!!!! This is absolutely ridiculous! What kind of Government is this? What kind of country are we? What is to become of us under this Government?”

Rowley recalled that Persad-Bissessar in August 2012 “instantly dismissed” then Minister in the Ministry of National Security Colin Partap “for not blowing in breathalyser test.”

“I am waiting patiently to see how long the Prime Minister will wait to get the report to see if he (the alleged government minister) inhaled, before he is dismissed,” he said.

Dismissing the claim in the Government’s statement that Sports Minister Anil Roberts exposed a personal interest which he had in the Beetham water recycling plant in 2000 as “absolute nonsense,” Rowley countered, “He raised that nonsense during the debate and I got up and dispensed with the foolishness immediately.”

In dismissing Roberts’ allegations in the House of Representatives on March 28, Rowley said, “My professional services 13 years ago, do not give me an interest.” At the time, the House was debating a private motion by Rowley which condemned the award of a billion dollar contract for the Beetham water recycling plant to a consortium of companies, including SIS. Referring to the statements which Roberts made to reporters following yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference, PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi said Roberts “has made no sense in his supposed rebuttal of the ‘ganja gate’ video by seeking to blame Dr Rowley into his conspiracy theory that the Opposition is against him.”

Supporting Rowley’s position, Al-Rawi said “the real burning issue” which Roberts and the Government must answer is whether the Life Sport programme is being used to fund criminal activity in this country.

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