Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 18th 2014 Contents A5
Monday, August 18, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Ministry of Finance s audit into the
Life Sport programme is a sham, says Inde-
pendent Liberal Party (ILP) leader Jack Warn-
er.He made the comment yesterday after
revealing that Life Sport deputy director Ruth
Marchan, who is under 24-hour police pro-
tection, is yet to be interviewed on the pro-
gramme, which has since been terminated by
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
"Therefore that Life Sport audit is a sham
if all the information wasn t sought and (former
Sports Minister) Anil (Roberts) isn t the biggest
villain in the issue and he s at best a scape-
goat," Warner said yesterday.
He said Government ministers in whose
constituencies the programme operated should
also have been interviewed by the Finance
Ministry during the audit and should now be
interviewed by the police and for any other
probes of the now terminated programme.
Warner spoke after Finance Minister Larry
Howai said at last Thursday s weekly Govern-
ment press conference that the police had
spoken to several Finance staffers to get more
information on the audit, which was recently
done by the ministry and which found several
irregularities in the programme.
Defending the report against accusations of
inaccuracy, Howai said the ministry had asked
for certain information which was not forth-
coming and "we never got it despite asking."
But Warner said Marchan, who had liaised
with him, is still in T&T under police protection
---following the murder of her bodyguard---
and the ministry could have easily obtained
input if they wanted. But up to yesterday she
still had not been contacted by anyone.
"All they had to do was contact the police
and I m sure the situation could have been
sorted out to get any information they needed
from her, but nobody spoke to her as of today
and she was the director of the programme,"
Warner said he s in touch with Marchan
and "some day s she okay, other days she s
"Without input from all concerned, it s
obvious the audit won t have all the relevant
information and will be a sham, deliberately
so. Nothing will come of this until after June
2015, since this is too politically explosive for
the Government and several ministers," he
Warner, who said he was in the Cabinet
when the programme was launched in 2011,
claimed Life Sport was done in all constituen-
cies save his Chaguanas West seat. He said
he deliberately stayed far from it.
"If a proper probe has to be done, all min-
isters in whose areas the Life Sport operated
should be interviewed by the police. As respon-
sible MPs they should have known, even if
indirectly, what was happening with the pro-
gramme in their areas and should now be
asked about procurement, quality control and
Former Sport Minister and D abadie/O meara
MP Anil Roberts resigned from both positions
days after Persad-Bissessar terminated the
programme on July 25, after announcing in
Parliament that the audit showed major irreg-
ularities and possible wrong doing on the part
of officials involved.
Warner, who said he didn t think the police
had the competence, staff or willingness to
properly probe the issue, said a probe should
also be done by a forensic investigator like
Bob Lindquist. He noted that the Prime Min-
ister, replying to questions at a recent Parlia-
mentary launch, said police could engage any
services to probe the matter.
Former attorney general Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj has accused Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of "political
corruption" over the proposed runoff elec-
tion system being included in the Consti-
tution (Amendment) Bil 2014.
He said Persad-Bissessar lied to the coun-
try when she said the Government held a
series of consultations with the population.
"That is a lie. What is a lie is that you
had a lot of discussion on constitutional
reform but you had no consultation on a
proposal to have two polls and have a runoff,"
Maharaj said during the Independent Liberal
Party s (ILP) forum to discuss and explain
the three provisions tabled by Persad-Bisses-
sar as part of the proposed reform on Sat-
The meeting was held at the Centre of
Excellence, Macoya, and included former
Congress of the People leadership contender
Rufus Foster, Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
leader Lyndira Oudit and Movement for
Social Justice (MSJ) PRO Gregory Fernan-
"You had no consultation on that and
there is proof of that beyond a reasonable
doubt and therefore the Prime Minister had
no right to tell untruths to the population
of Trinidad and Tobago," Maharaj said.
He said the bill was "totally against" the
United National Congress own constitution,
but that the party stood to gain the most
from the runoff system.
"In the history of the elections of T&T,
when you have the PNM and you have the
UNC, the UNC stood a better chance of
getting some of the votes which go to other
political parties if you have a three-way
fight or you have a four-way fight," he said.
"What she wants, is that she wants to
eliminate those political parties, eliminate
those voters and have a chance get the split
He said the UNC and the Prime Minister
had a "motive" for pushing the bill.
"It is not in the public interest, it is not
for the peace, order and good government
of T&T. The motive of this bill is for the
UNC to have a better chance to win the
election, but by using governmental power
and the government using Parliament and
state power to get that advantage," he said.
Maharaj, who also spoke on a similar
forum held by the MSJ just days before,
reiterated his plan to forward the constitu-
tional amendments to the Privy Council.
"Even if it is passed in Senate, the Privy
Council will block it," he told the crowd.
"In the constitutional motion that is being
prepared to challenge this bill, one of the
points in the forefront of that argument will
be that this Government has introduced this
bill in an effort to steal the election of T&T,"
He said it was the internal UNC cabal
that would benefit the most from the bill s
Persad-Bissessar tabled the controversial
bill on August 4 and it was debated on
August 11 and passed after the marathon
debate ended early on August 12. The bill
is expected to be debated by the Senate on
But since the passage of the bill there
have been several dissenting voices about
the constitutionality of the tenets of the
Marchan yet to be quizzed
Warner: Life Sport audit a sham
Reform bill political corruption---Ramesh
Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj acknowledges members of the audience
during the launch of the Independent Liberal Party's (ILP) Constitution Platform at the Centre of
Excellence, Macoya, on Saturday. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
Independent Liberal party (ILP) chairman
Jack Warner says the United national Congress
(UNC) is trying to sway former ILP deputy
leader Anna Deonarine to fight the Chaguanas
West seat in 2015 general elections.
Warner was asked yesterday about headline
reports, twice in a recently-launched pro-gov-
ernment weekly, that Deonarine was disen-
chanted with the ILP and was going over to
the People s Partnership (PP).
Deonarine has kept a low profile in recent
months. She didn t put up her name for the
post of deputy in recent ILP elections, ILP
leader Lyndira Oudit said when the election
Yesterday, however, Warner said despite this
Deonarine remains his company lawyer.
"But I know (Roodal) Moonilal and others
in the PP are trying to get her to fight Chaguanas
West for the 2015 general elections---but I don t
think she ll fall for that," he said.
Efforts to contact Deonarine were unsuc-
cessful yesterday, as calls to her cellphone went
Jack: PP trying to lure Anna for Chaguanas West
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