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Rowley dismisses link between PNM and video

Monday, May 26 2014

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Keith Rowley says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is either guilty of dereliction of duty or a cover-up over a viral video allegedly showing a Cabinet minister involved in an illicit activity.

He also dismissed any links between the video and the People’s National Movement (PNM) as Government members had claimed.

He commented on the issue yesterday during an interview on radio station I95.5FM. Rowley was asked about the failure of the Prime Minister to act regarding the video.

He responded that he “had a pretty good TV” and it was clear what he was seeing in the video.

The video shows what appears to be a Cabinet minister in a room with women and rolling a cigarette with a substance that appears to be marijuana.

The location and date of the video are unknown.

Rowley said the minister was now “compromised” and the video could have been used for blackmail.

“That situation is untenable in any Cabinet. Where that minister has been shown to be compromised and could be influenced by external forces, that Prime Minister has to be examined,” he said. At the People’s Partnership four-year anniversary rally on Saturday in Chaguanas, the Prime Minister said she would examine the facts of the video and make a decision in the national interest. She also questioned the timing of the video being released.

Rowley yesterday pointed out that the story of the video originally appeared in the TnT Mirror and PNM Member of Parliament for Port-of-Spain South Marlene McDonald mentioned it in passing in Parliament last year based on that article. He said the Government was attempting to make a connection between the PNM and the Mirror newspaper. He noted the video had been out for a year and questioned what the Prime Minister had done about it in that time.

“Did she investigate it?” he asked rhetorically.

He said the Prime Minister was attempting to “defend the indefensible by playing smart with foolishness” and laying the blame on the PNM.

Rowley also pointed out that the Prime Minister is head of the National Security Council and one of her ministers may have been involved in illicit drugs, human trafficking and blackmail.

“And she now has the gall to point fingers at the PNM,” he added. He pointed out that the minister in question has “carefully not said” whether it was him in the video. He noted that the apparent use of drugs would negatively impact Government’s thrust to reduce drug use among young people.

“Government will lose moral low ground and high ground if it supports persons depicted that way,” he stressed.

He said the population must not tolerate a Prime Minister and Cabinet who are “so compromised” and said through propaganda and boldfaceness this Government is trying to convince people that “wrong is right”.

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