I am calling for the Opposition, Independent Senators and in particular the President of Trinidad and Tobago to accept their individual responsibility for the Section 34 issue. Given the latest developments, I would like to also overstep my boundaries and instruct the President to respond to the following questions based on the facts of the Section 34 issue.
The President proclaimed Section 34 on August 28, 2012. In the lead-up to this, he would have received weekly copies of all Cabinet Minutes. Therefore, the President knew when Cabinet approved Section 34.
Why did he not question the early proclamation at that time? Is it that the Cabinet Minutes seemed to make sense? Is it possible that His Excellency saw no problem with the proclamation, that even he too was misled by the Cabinet Notes prepared by the former minister of justice?
Furthermore, the President had another opportunity to question the early proclamation section before signing at his weekly meetings with the Prime Minister. He also failed to bring up the issue then. Why is it, therefore, that after two occasions to ask questions about the early proclamation the President now sees it fit to act after the fact?
The President acted on the Section 34 issue only after the PNM and other groups wrote to him. Given that His Excellency was appointed by an electoral college that was dominated by the PNM, a reasonable person must conclude that this is an indication of the President stepping into the political arena as indicated by Reginald Dumas, former head of the Public Service. The President is expected to be above partisan politics.
Can the President please indicate if he had a problem with Section 34 before he signed it? If he did, can he provide the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with reasons as to why he did not express his concerns before signing the proclamation?
Can the President also indicate why he only sought to write to the Prime Minister after the politically motivated involvement on the Leader of the Opposition?
Can the President indicate if he is or was ever a member of any political party in Trinidad and Tobago? If the Leader of the Opposition did not write the President would he have acted on the issue? Did the President, as part of his quest for information, also send a letter to Dr Rowley asking why he instructed the Opposition to support the bill?
It seems to this citizen of Trinidad and Tobago that the President also needs to appoint an independent body to investigate his conduct in this matter.