Put Country Before Party - EntornoInteligente
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Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has ad­dressed the na­tion in tele­vi­sion broad­casts be­fore on key is­sues af­fect­ing the econ­o­my in­clud­ing the de­ci­sion to shut down debt-sad­dled Petrotrin.

The time has come for him to face the cit­i­zen­ry to ac­count for the run­away crime which has threat­ened to de­stroy the free­dom we all de­serve.

With a key al­ly charged with damn­ing cor­rup­tion of­fences where mon­ey was al­leged­ly si­phoned from the state’s cof­fers for per­son­al gain, Dr Row­ley is not in an en­vi­able po­si­tion.

He has held that min­is­ters are re­spon­si­ble for their own ac­tions. His po­lit­i­cal cam­paign in 2015 was based on cor­rupt trans­gres­sions of the for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Dr Row­ley’s si­lence since charges were filed against Ms Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald and four oth­ers war­rant noth­ing short of an ex­pla­na­tion from the man in charge.

Not on­ly was Ms Mc­Don­ald one of the more ex­pe­ri­enced min­is­ters in his ad­min­is­tra­tion, she al­so held the po­si­tion as deputy po­lit­i­cal leader of the PNM, which draft­ed and ap­proved the par­ty’s man­i­festo for the coun­try.

Just over two weeks ago, the Prime Min­is­ter chose a po­lit­i­cal plat­form to re­spond to sus­tained calls for his ad­min­is­tra­tion to do more to ad­dress the wor­ry­ing is­sue of crime. He blast­ed the me­dia and the Ju­di­cia­ry for be­ing un­fair to his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

No Dr Row­ley, wrong time and place.

Dr Row­ley sits as the Prime Min­is­ter of the en­tire coun­try, speak­ing to par­ty faith­ful is sim­ply not good enough.

The PNM has sched­uled a po­lit­i­cal meet­ing to­mor­row at City Hall where Dr Row­ley in­tends to ad­dress the is­sues fac­ing Ms Mc­Don­ald and the em­bar­rass­ing 11th-hour dump­ing of Mr Garvin Si­mon­ette as her re­place­ment af­ter Mr Si­mon­ette’s crim­i­nal record on a DUI charge in the US sur­faced on­line.

This begs the ques­tion: are prop­er back­ground checks made be­fore peo­ple are ap­point­ed to pub­lic of­fice? Mr Si­mon­ette’s crim­i­nal record pre-dates his ap­point­ment as a gov­ern­ment sen­a­tor in 2018.

And, if the DUI con­vic­tion was suf­fi­cient to dis­card Mr Si­mon­ette, then why is Dr Lester Hen­ry still an ac­tive sen­a­tor af­ter he was con­vict­ed of a sim­i­lar charge in T&T?

The Prime Min­is­ter needs to ac­count to the peo­ple of this coun­try for his in­sis­tence to reap­point Ms Mc­Don­ald to his Cab­i­net even though he was aware that a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion was still in train. All in­di­ca­tors should have point­ed him in the op­po­site di­rec­tion.

Now he has to face the po­lit­i­cal fall­out of his de­ci­sion go­ing in­to an elec­tion year, some­thing the Op­po­si­tion UNC will no doubt squeeze for max­i­mum ef­fect.

Dr Row­ley can no longer linger on as­sur­ing cit­i­zens every­thing in the State’s ar­se­nal is be­ing done to stamp out crim­i­nal gangs, in­clud­ing the sev­er­ing of every and any state re­sources to them.

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian

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