Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2014 Contents A11
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ONE STORE ONLY.
Corner Queen and Henry Streets, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
(868) 625-2904, email@example.com, www.thetextileking.com
Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed has
chastised People's National Movement
(PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley for
"rabble-rousing" and inciting the public
to put pressure on the Government
over its constitutional reform legislation
with inaccurate information.
Hadeed called on Rowley to desist,
warning that an environment was being
created similar to that which preceded
the 1990 coup attempt, when certain
groups mounted pressure on the NAR
government. The legislation was passed
in Parliament yesterday with PNM
voting against it.
PNM supporters crowded outside the
Parliament to protest the bill and booed
People's Partnership MPs while cheering
PNM MPs who entered the Parliament
on Monday. The PNM also held a public
meeting in St James last night to speak
about the legislation.
Rowley had said the legislation and
runoff poll idea had the potential to
create dangerous political instability,
since defeated governments or MPs
could remain in office while runoff polls
were held. The PNM also said it was a
threat to T&T's peace, stability and good
order, as there was the possibility it
could affect the smooth handover of
Rowley had urged the population to
react and voice its rejection of the idea
to Government, noting that the PP
Government "only backed off of
initiatives after massive public
rejection." He warned that if the
population remained quiet and allowed
Government to pass the legislation "the
detriment I described, will befall us."
But Hadeed, saying Rowley had given
a distorted view, said: "In 2001, when
former President ANR Robinson had to
make a decision whether to swear in
the PNM or UNC government, it took 14
days---and there was no instability. Also,
when we had the 18-18 election tie it
took nine days for that issue to be
resolved, and there was no instability
either---so on what basis is Rowley
saying this instability will take place
now? And who will be causing that
instability? Certainly not PP supporters.
"That sort of rabble-rousing delivery,
playing on fear that he's doing, is not
statesmanship or becoming of a prime-
ministerial aspirant. It can in fact cause
Hadeed said Rowley was wrong to
say a defeated government or MPs
would have to remain in office.
"If the PNM won votes and any
runoff was necessary, the President's
prerogative would be to appoint the
new government. So why is the PNM
issuing all this misinformation?"
Hadeed, in a letter to the editor, also
responded to comments by Martin Daly,
SC, on the bills.
"I wonder if Mr Daly attended any of
the (constitutional reform) meetings
across T&T, and if he did, what were the
concerns he raised, if or had he made
any comments at all?"
Saying there were laws to deal with
any manipulation during the runoff poll
period, Hadeed added: "Mr Daly should
face the electorate or get a seat in the
Senate and try to make a tangible
difference to the lives of our citizens
instead of being a couch-potato political
commentator from his luxurious office."
Rowley, in Monday's debate, had
admonished Hadeed for his statements
Actor and musician Wendell Manwarren says he
was shocked when he heard the "Power to the Peo-
ple" ad he voiced being used to promote the Gov-
ernment s now controversial proposals for consti-
tution reform and the runoff poll in particular.
The Constitution (Amendment Bill) 2014 was
passed early yesterday after a marathon session in
the House which started on Monday.
The bill was passed despite calls from the public
and even coalition partner Congress of the People
for a hold on voting on it so that there could be
public consultation, especially over the highly-con-
tentious runoff polls, since this was not part of the
discussion during the Constitution Reform Com-
mission s (CRC) initial talks with the public.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had last
week announced the runoff proposal alongside two-
term limits for PMs, right of recall for non-performing
MPs and fixed dates for elections. She went ahead
with those plans on Monday despite public calls for
a hold on the bill and for consultation.
The ad, which features Manwarren s voice promi-
nently over a jingle, gained significant airplay last
week as the debate raged.
Some people who recognised his voice took to his
Facebook page to express their displeasure that he
would have contributed to a public relations campaign
pushing the legislation, since his band, 3Canal, usually
sings against oppression by the leadership.
But when the T&T Guardian contacted him on
the issue, Manwarren admitted he was taken aback
when he heard the ad, since he was unaware it was
going to be used in such a fashion.
"When I heard the ad play on air, I was like, Oh
ho! That s what that s for, " he said.
Manwarren said he was approached to voice the
ad about three weeks ago but was not given any
specifics. He said it was a job, so he proceeded to
do the voicing.
"I really thought the ad was for a NGO, because
I saw the powertothepeople.tt address," he explained.
"I did not know it was a government ad."
Hadeed knocks PNM head for inciting public
I didn't know it was for PP
Manwarren on 'Power to the People' ad
Diego Martin Central MP Dr Amery Browne is embraced by radio talk show host Isha Wells outside the
Parliament on Monday. Wells was part of a group of people calling for a hold on the controversial runoff poll
proposal in the Constitution (Amendment) Bill. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
SONG AGAINST LAW SOON
Distancing himself from
the message behind the
campaign, Manwarren said:
"I was aware that it was an
ad for constitution reform,
for the right to recall and
the term limit, but I was
not aware that the runoff
second ballot elections was
part of that, in terms of the
He added: "I have been
voicing ads for about 30
years and this is one of the
risks you can run into.
"I am in no way in support of this. I have a voice
and if I am recognised as a voice to connect to the
people and someone who has an agenda, and use
it in a way that I am not aware of, well, I feel a little
stung but I have to move on."
Manwarren in fact said his band will soon be
releasing a track called More Love. He said he
penned it as a response to those behind the
"Power to the People" ad and its intentions.
"We need more love in this negative society. We
need more love all over," he said.
He also chipped in on the Life Sport programme
controversy, saying: "If they had given me quarter
of those funds, I am sure I would have done more
work than them for the people out here."
The programme, which targeted at-risk youths,
was terminated after a Minister of Finance audit
found massive fraud and wrong doing.
Manwarren advised other artistes like himself to
be careful in the future when asked to do things.
"Don't get tied up like I did. I was tied up."
Links Archive August 12th 2014 August 14th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page