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Housing Minister Dr Roodlal Moonilal is today
urging the Opposition to be "more flexible and
less dogmatic," as the Government intends to
bring more constitution reform measures to
He made the comment as he called on the
People s National Movement (PNM) to take note
of President Anthony Carmona s statements on
Independence Day that there was no room for
"bull-headed partisanship" in constitution reform.
Speaking at his Independence Day Indian Clas-
sical Singing competition at Fun Splash Water
Park in Debe yesterday, Moonilal said he agreed
with the President that there will be "growing
pains" and lessons to learn in the constitution
He said he was happy Carmona "alerted the
nation that notwithstanding conflict and different
opinions on the matter (constitution reform),
there can be no development without conflict
and there can be no fundamental reform without
the growing pains a young nation would go
through." (See page A14).
Moonilal said he agreed with the President
that notwithstanding the different issues and the
disagreements with the Constitution (Amend-
ment) Bill 2014, "we were able to come together
and pass fundamental reforms."
He said he agreed with Carmona that things
should not be done in a "bull-headed" manner.
"I appeal to the PNM to take heed of the Pres-
ident s statement and conduct their business in
a more flexible and less dogmatic way, so we can
build compromise and consensus with further
constitutional reform legislation," Moonilal said.
He commended Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar for her flexibility and her political
will to make "critical" amendments to the bill
based on recommendations from senators.
He maintained the Government s approach to
the taking the legislation to Parliament was the
right way, since it sparked national debate on
constitution reform. Moonilal said it was also
handled well and hinted that the same approach
may be used for other constitution reform leg-
islation such as fixed election dates.
"Strange enough, in that short space of time
it allowed for an explosion of views and a debate
that you would not have had if you had a pro-
longed and long-term period of discussion and
consultation. I think the timing as well led to an
enormous amount of analysis in the society,"
He said he thought Carmona understood well
the Government s approach and "the need for
pain to bring about reform. He indicated that he
is a former judge he knows the law well."
Moonilal said it was a successful approach,
despite objections from various quarters, including
Congress of the People (COP) members Carolyn
Seepersad-Bachan and Winston Dookeran, both
of whom voted against the bill in the Lower
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 29TH AUGUST, 2014
Anna Deonarine yesterday
acknowledged her departure as deputy
political leader of the Independent
Liberal Party (ILP), declaring she is
now not affiliated with any political
But even as she made the statement,
Deonarine was warmly welcomed by
the United National Congress (UNC)
Oropouche West MP Dr Roodal at an
Independence Day Classical Singing
Competition he hosted at the Fun
Splash Water Park, Debe.
As Moonilal greeted her, he said,
"Welcome home to the Debe water
park, not Warner park."
Deonarine laughed at the quip, as
she publicly distanced herself from the
Prior to Deonarine s arrival yesterday,
Moonilal suggested the T&T Guardian
not leave the event as he had a "spe-
cially invited guest you would want to
get a photo of."
He also hinted that Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan would be attending
Deonarine and Ramlogan had a very
public verbal clash during the Chagua-
nas West by-election, after the AG had
claimed that her Range Rover was a
Deonarine s luxury Range Rover Sport
HSE, valued at about $500,000, which
was bought from an agent in England,
was seized by local police after it was
reported as a stolen vehicle by British
police last October.
Last evening, Deonarine, accompa-
nied by her husband, was embraced
and shook hands with Moonilal when
she made her way to the VIP section
at the event shortly before 6 pm.
When asked why she attended the
event, Deonarine said, "I am here at
the invitation of Dr Moonilal."
She declined to talk about leaving
the ILP, however, saying, "This is not
the time or the place for that."
When asked if she was joining the
UNC, Deonarine shook her head and
said, "I am not affiliated with any polit-
Speculation was rife that she had
left the ILP months ago, especially after
she failed to contest for any position
in the last ILP executive election in
But when contacted for comment on
Deonarine's ILP departure and attendance at the
UNC-hosted event last night, Warner said it was
not true she is not affiliated with a political party.
"Why did she go to the Water park? If she not
affiliated then why did she resign from the
party?" Warner said in a telephone interview with
the T&T Guardian.
He said Deonarine gave no formal notice of her
departure, only to say she was leaving, but noted
she had done so more than three to fours months
ago. He said he had "no problem" with the
decision and said her departure had not impacted
"I wish her well," he said.
"The ILP has been getting stronger by the day.
How does that impact on the ILP? She resigned
about four months ago. That is old news."
Warner said he was not surprised that
Deonarine attended Moonilal's event, since he
alleged that a couple of weeks ago she had met
with the minister at Kampo restaurant for two
hours. He claimed that she had been offered the
Chaguanas West seat.
Warner said he was still surprised that she was
now fraternising with the people who had hurled
nasty accusations against her, "but then she
would be the best judge of who her friends are or
JACK: ILP HAS NOT MISSED HER
light up the
sky over the
Hill during a
ion of the
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