Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 2nd 2014 Contents A5
Saturday, August 2, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Confusion over whether or not
former Sports Minister Anil
Roberts was still the MP for the
D abadie/O Meara constituency
was the dominant feeling among
Though many had heard from
news sources and friends that
Roberts resignation from his min-
isterial portfolio had been accepted
by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar, residents questioned the
future of their constituency.
Roberts resignation letter to Per-
sad-Bissessar stated that he had
resigned as Minister of Sport and
as Member of Parliament for
D Abadie/ O Meara with immediate
Persad-Bissessar, in her statement
on Thursday, said she accepted
Roberts resignation from the min-
istry. The announcement of his res-
ignation as MP will have to be made
in the Parliament by the Speaker of
Parliament has been prorogued
and resumes on Monday.
Dennis Chapman, a resident of
Carapo for the past 20 years, said
Roberts resignation as a minister
did not matter to him.
"Even if he resigned as MP, it
doesn t matter. He never did any-
thing for me and the community
hasn t gotten better when he was
Krishna Argnoo, a 55-year-old
resident of Carapo, said Roberts had
not done anything for the commu-
"The majority of things which
happened in Carapo, happened on
Jokhan trace," said Argnoo.
Jokhan Trace is where the Carapo
mosque is situated.
Newly-appointed Sport Minister Dr
Rupert Griffith says he is ready and
raring to go.
In a telephone interview with the
T&T Guardian yesterday, Griffith said
one of his first mandates was to meet
with staff to discuss the ministry s var-
ious portfolios and determine whether
they were in line with the objectives of
"I intend to meet with senior man-
agement to look at what they are doing
in terms of the objectives, action plans
and how best we can align them to the
ministry and chart a way forward,"
Griffith has replaced former sport
minister Anil Roberts.
At a post Cabinet press conference
on Thursday, Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar said she had accepted
Roberts s resignation over the revelations
of an audit into the Life Sport pro-
gramme, which fell under his purview.
The audit, which was laid in Parlia-
ment last Friday, unearthed widespread
corruption prompting the prime min-
ister to terminate the programme imme-
Persad-Bissessar said there was
enough evidence to warrant a probe by
the Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP), the acting Commissioner of
Police, the Integrity Commission and
the head of the public service.
Griffith, who already holds the posi-
tion of minister of science and tech-
nology, has been assigned the sport
ministry in the interim until a suitable
replacement is found.
Saying he felt very proud to be chosen
by the Prime Minister, Griffith admitted
there were challenges in the ministry
and said he was more than capable of
"The sport ministry is very critical
and important and I am anxious to get
there and the get the work done," Grif-
Asked how he intended to "clean
up" the ministry given the public s per-
ception of corruption, Griffith said this
would give the impression that the min-
istry was dirty and he was not "going
down that road."
PNM s public relations officer Faris
Al-Rawi said there was no doubt the
appointment of Griffith would occupy
the minds of many.
"He is nondescript at best and he,
not being a member of the Cabinet,
doesn t seem to be a minister of the
People s Partnership Government who
represents himself in any fore running
On the acceptance of Roberts res-
ignation by the Prime Minister, Al-
Rawi said this was muddled and con-
"This is much in the same way as
the Prime Minister s non-acceptance
of the serious allegations of corruption
in the Life Sport programme which has
been in the public domain since October
last year," Al-Rawi said.
Constituents unclear, indifferent
I'm up to
The House Speaker, who has to
be informed of Anil Roberts
intention to resign from the
D Abadie/O Meara seat, has not
received any such resignation let-
ter.A Parliament spokesman con-
firmed this after Roberts wrote
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar Thursday stating that he
wished to inform her of his "desire
to resign as Sport Minister and
also as D Abadie/O Meara MP with
The PM announced she had
accepted Roberts resignation as
minister and that appointment
was revoked by the acting Pres-
ident on Thursday.
But People s National Move-
ment (PNM) PRO Faris Al-Rawi
pointed out that the PM in her
announcement had not mentioned
Roberts resignation from the
position of MP.
"The fact there was confusion
on the capacities of his resignation
belies the Prime Minister s asser-
tion she took her time and spoke
after careful thought.
If she had, the population
wouldn t now be in confusion on
what has really taken place and
the effect," Al-Rawi added.
"We can t do anything like
appoint a coordinator yet, since
it seems he s the sitting MP until
his letter is received by Parlia-
ment," said COP general secretary
He said he was not aware of any
efforts to ask Roberts to reconsider
resigning from the seat,.
United National Congress
(UNC) PRO Rodney Charles said
that was a decision for Roberts to
Parliament to meet Monday
A Parliament spokesman said that
for Roberts resignation to be effec-
tive, they said under Section 49 (2)
(a) the House Speaker had to receive
communication from the MP in
question and this would be read to
When former PP MPs Jack
Warner and Herbert Volney resigned
from their respective Chaguanas
West and St Joseph seats in 2013,
their resignations triggered by-elec-
tions in those seats. But that does
not apply in Roberts case since no
by-election can be held after the
fourth year of a term and general
election is on the way.
House Speaker Wade Mark, in
Barbados for a Parliamentary con-
ference, is expected back today.
Parliament meets Monday to
begin the last session of the current
Participants dance to the
drums along Independence
Square, Port-of Spain
during emancipation day
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Constitution, Section 49 (2)(a) applicable in the case of the alleged
resignation of Mr Anil Roberts.
49. (1) Every member of the House of Representatives shall vacate his
seat in the House at the next dissolution of Parliament after his election.
(2) A member of the House of Representatives shall also vacate his seat
in the House where---
(a) he resigns it by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker or,
where the office of Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is absent from
Trinidad and Tobago, to the Deputy Speaker.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
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