Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2015 Contents A5
Monday, March 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
INTRODUCING THE HONDA OEM*
$1.00 Per Litre/CNG
*ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER.
3 YEARS HONDA WARRANTY
TEST DRIVE ONE TODAY!
Port of Spain: 624-3714 • 625-2277
San Fernando: 657-2277 (CARS)
Chaguanas: 672-0991 • 671-3913
Tobago 639-2277 (CARS)
Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdu-
lah says Vernella Alleyne-Toppin s "cesspit political
strategy" to undermine Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley in Parliament has clearly backfired and will
lead to the demise of the People s Partnership Govern-
Speaking at a press conference at the MSJ's San Fer-
nando headquarters yesterday, Abdulah said Alleyne-
Toppin's rantings had defiled Parliament.
He said the entire Cabinet and the Prime Minister
must be held accountable for bringing T&T's politics to
the "lowest low" and called for a "revolution of the
minds" and an end to tribal politics which hinge on issues
of race, ethnicity, gender, geography and class.
"We condemn the cesspit into which the politics of
T&T has clearly sunk. The statement on Wednesday by
Vernella Alleyne-Toppin in the Parliament was a new
low amongst many lows in the history of the recent
politics of the country," he said.
"It must be noted that her statement and other state-
ments took place just hours after the second public launch
of the Code of Ethical Political Conduct and the launch
of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour."
Saying all traditional parties have been guilty of breaking
the code, Abdulah said it is not only Alleyne-Toppin who
should be condemned, as her tirade was sanctioned by
the Leader of Government Business Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Accusing the Government of using a pre-conceived but
ill-conceived political strategy, he said it has clearly back-
fired and the Government now has to answer for their
"The entire Government stands condemned. The Prime
Minister cannot say she was not in the Parliament chamber
when it happened. If she wasn't there she should have
immediately gotten up when she came back and con-
demned the statement, but she did not do that," Abdulah
He added, "They need to man up and say to T&T that
they did grievous harm not only to the Parliament, but
to the wives, mothers and daughters who have been
victims of rape. None of them can pull themselves out.
It was a clearly agreed upon strategy by the Government
in this parliamentary debate."
Abdulah said Parliament was supposed to be a national
institution where representatives are supposed to discuss,
debate and pass legislation that would ensure the proper
functioning of the country.
"The Parliament was defiled and it demonstrates that
the Speaker of the House failed to conduct the affairs of
the House in accordance with what the House should
be engaged in. It reconfirms the fact that the institutions
of our State have collapsed," Abdulah said.
The prime minister s decision
not to sanction Tobago MP Ver-
nella Alleyne-Toppin for the con-
troversial statement she made
about Opposition leader Dr Keith
Rowley during last Wednesday s
no confidence motion against the
Opposition Leader is being sup-
ported by Works and Infrastruc-
ture Minister Dr Suruj Ram-
Addressing the issue during the
formal opening of Bridge B2/10
along the Toco Main Road yester-
day, Rambachan said, "Personally,
I join the Prime Minister in saying
that it is a regrettable moment and
it's something we have to learn
"I think the Prime Minister her-
self has expressed her own regrets
for what was said in the parliament,
and I join her in the sentiments
she has expressed."
During her contribution last
week, Alleyne-Toppin claimed
Rowley was the product of a rape
and that he allegedly fathered a
child by the same means.
One of the claims have since
been denied by Roselyn Alleyne,
the mother of Rowley's son Garth,
now 43. However, both Rowley's
parents are deceased.
Alleyne-Toppin has been severely
criticised for the statements and
there have been calls for her res-
ignation or removal. However, the
PM on Friday said while she regret-
ted certain parts of the statements,
she would not sanction the Tobago
MP.Questioned about the appropri-
ateness of raising such issues in
the House, Rambachan said,
"Sometimes, in the cut and thrust
of politics, these things happen
and what we all have to do is learn
from these experiences and to
ensure we do not repeat these kinds
of errors of the past."
Confident that the matter will
continue to be investigated, Ram-
bachan added, "At the end of the
day, people will form their own
Pressed to say what his personal
view on the matter was, Ram-
bachan replied, "I don't think there
are other comments to make, it
has played out in the public space
as it has."
Attorney General Garvin
Nicholas expects to receive a
report from his division s Per-
manent Secretary by tomorrow
or Wednesday on the issue con-
cerning lawyers fees accrued
during the reign of his prede-
cessor Anand Ramlogan.
Nicholas briefly confirmed this
yesterday, following an article in
yesterday's Sunday Guardian in
which lawyers disputed the fig-
ures for work they did which
were recently released in Parlia-
The figures, given in the writ-
ten reply to the Opposition (a
question filed by PNM leader Dr
Keith Rowley in Parliament)
totalled about $350 million in
fees paid since 2010.
Last week, Communication
Minister Vasant Bharath also said
the information given was
wrong, as figures weren't accu-
rate. He said it appeared some
had been listed twice, making
the actual total less. He said he
had been contacted by some
lawyers who said they were
exploring their legal options.
Several lawyers also complained
about having legal fees made
Yesterday, Nicholas said the
statement on fees had been pre-
sented to the Opposition and
admitted some lawyers are now
saying there had been duplica-
tion of figures given.
He said, "I asked the PS to go
through the statement's details
with the ministry's accounts staff
to find out if there are any dupli-
cations and I expect a report on
this by Tuesday or Wednesday.
"The Government was asked
by the Opposition for the infor-
mation and it was provided to
the Opposition, but we were not
responsible for its wide circula-
tion, including to the media.
"One has to note that the
administration seeks to get value
for money and there are signif-
icant matters done by the PP
administration, therefore com-
plexity of issues will also deter-
mine fees." (GA)
MSJ: Vernella attack defiled Parliament
on T'go MP
Modupe Onilu, from the Dayo Bejude Trio (formally Jewels of Nature), gives this group of children a chance to try
out the bamboo chimes after the band performed at the Earth Hour Observances at the Hilton Trinidad,
St Ann's, on Saturday. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
Links Archive March 29th 2015 March 31st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page