Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 19, 2014
President Anthony Carmona yester-
day urged citizens to seek to make T&T
a better country again.
This he said, would only be achieved
if all citizens strive to find solutions to
the current problems facing the socie-
ty.In a speech to the nation, Carmona
said Corpus Christi, the predominantly
Roman Catholic celebration of the death
and resurrection of Christ epitomized by
its literal Latin translation of the Body
of Christ, is of deep special significance.
He urged citizens to use the period to
find solutions to some of the problems
afflicting the country.
"Religion can be a panacea for some
of the challenges faced by a nation. It
must however be a source of unity and
guidance," he said.
"The Roman Catholic celebration of
Corpus Christi is a timely one because
of the message of sacrifice and redemp-
tion that it brings to the fore. Beset as
we are by violence and selfishness, it is
high time that we revert to our better
selves." He added, "This is not a task for
one man, or for one group, but for all
citizens so that we can all contribute to
a better Trinidad and Tobago."
The first of three Congress of the
People (COP) election debates kicked
off on Wednesday with the controver-
sial "ganja video" dominating the con-
The debate among four contenders
for the June 29 election of a COP
Rufus Foster, Lincoln Douglas and
incumbent Prakash Ramadhar---was held
at CNMG, Port-of-Spain.
Moderator Josanne Lennard s first
question to the candidates was whether
they felt Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar had disrespected the COP by
not firing Roberts from her Cabinet.
The COP s national executive sus-
pended Roberts for refusing to talk to
them about the video, which shows a
man resembling a Government minister
rolling a marijuana cigarette in a hotel
room with two women, and said he
should not hold a ministerial portfolio
either. The PM, to date, has taken no
step to fire Roberts, saying she was sat-
isfied with his report on the matter.
Douglas, COP s deputy chairman, said
he PM s action "shows the decision of
the political leader and the party was
not respected. It represents disrespect
and he (Ramadhar) should have done
something about it.
"I would have spoken clearly about
it and would not have allowed myself
to be disrespected."
Seepersad-Bachan said when the Fyz-
abad Accord was signed by members
of the coalition it was meant to be
fleshed out. She threw blame on Ramad-
har and other party leaders in the coali-
tion for this.
She said the Roberts issue was not a
legal but a moral one, and Ramadhar
should have taken it up with the PM
and other coalition leaders to have
Roberts removed from the Cabinet.
Foster said he would have got a con-
sensus from the COP membership and
would not have left the decision about
Roberts to the political leader.
Ramadhar, however, said he did not
think his rivals had read the Fyzabad
Accord and what it stood for.
He said Roberts was suspended on
the basis of the principles of law, while
the PM is acting on her principles.
He said the national executive made
a decision only to suspend Roberts.
It was Seepersad-Bachan, as party
chairman, he said, who was given the
responsibility to flesh out the coalition
arrangement and he did not know why
it had not happened.
Seepersad-Bachan rebutted that the
matter was discussed at a monthly
meeting of chairmen of the coalition
parties and they were supposed to take
back reports to their party leaders. But
Ramadhar said he had got no such
Seepersad-Bachan said the matter
was discussed in Cabinet but the party
leaders never took it forward.
Ganja video draws anger at COP debate
Ramadhar also criticised those
calling the COP weak and saying it
lost its glory when it joined the
People's Partnership coalition
Government. He said the party lost
its glory when it was defeated in the
2007 general election, but regained
strength when it joined the PP.
Legislation on procurement,
campaign financing and the removal
of property tax---party goals---were
on the table in Parliament, he said,
and these could not have been
achieved if the party were not in
government. He said if the COP had
pulled out of the PP, the coalition
would have "mashed up."
"There is no alternative. We can't
go to the PNM. They promised to
return all the things we fought
against," he said.
Ramadhar said enemies of the
people and the People's Partnership
were behind the propaganda that the
COP has been weakened under his
Asked whether if they were party
leader they would leave the PP, all,
except Seepersad-Bachan, said they
would be willing to talk things out
before such a move.
Seepersad-Bachan said the COP
had to regain the trust of its
members, even if that meant
breaking up with the partners.
Douglas said he would try to fix
the car before jumping out of it.
Foster said he would like to examine
all the pros and cons of staying with
the PP first before he thought of a
COALITION BEST FOR PARTY
Carmona urges citizens to make T&T better again
Toddlers Caroline, left, Sophia and their mother Yoshimi Mc Laren pose with a Silver Stars masquerader during
the WeBeat Steelband Parade on the Western Main Road, St James, on Sunday. The event was held in
commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
TODDLERS IN PARADE
Links Archive June 18th 2014 June 20th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page