We like Carmona
By NEWSDAY STAFF Tuesday, February 5 2013
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FACE TO FACE: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) and several Government members met with Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley (right) and sever...
THE Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) will support Government’s nominee — Justice Anthony Carmona — to replace George Maxwell-Richards as the country’s President, PNM and Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday.
“He is qualified for the job and is a distinguished citizen. The PNM will support the nomination,” Rowley told Newsday yesterday following the announcement of Carmona’s nominatio by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in a televised address to the nation.
Rowley earlier in the day met with Persad-Bissessar at the PNM’s request and suggested Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Judge Justice Rolston Nelson for the post, which will become vacant on March 17, when President Richards demits office after serving two terms. Asked for his reaction to Persad-Bissessar’s announcement, Rowley told Newsday yesterday by telephone, “We are better off with a process that was consultative. We are satisfied.” Asked whether Persad-Bissessar had mentioned Carmona’s name at the meeting, Rowley said, “(Persad-Bissessar) did not offer any names. We knew the names were being considered. We were not naive as to whom the Government was considering.
We did ask for a process and the process was entered into. We can now move forward.” At a press conference, he held earlier in the day at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Port-of-Spain, Rowley said the PNM would not have approved of any sitting member of parliament or anyone whom the party believed could bring the country into disrepute.
“We got a commitment from Government that consideration would be given to Justice Nelson without prejudice,” Rowley said. The party, he said, took the initiative to suggest a name after Government failed to disclose a name to the public, “as though the process was a secret” and the date for nomination drew near.
Government could conduct the election on its own without the Opposition’s involvement, “we acknowledge that”, Rowley said.
Rowley said that at yesterday’s meeting, he complained to the Prime Minister about Attorney General Anand Ramlogan who Rowley said, saw it fit to convey “disturbances and unpleasantries” about the PNM’s suggestion of a consensus candidate including the claim that the PNM did not consult with Justice Nelson.
“The Attorney General was quite wrong to do what he did,” Rowley said as he sought to assure that as Political Leader of the PNM, the party had spoken with Justice Nelson who said that if the country approves of him, “he (Justice Nelson) will make himself available.”