Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Al-Rawi: Warner crossed line in criticising President

People's National Movement (PNM) public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi says UNC chairman Jack Warner has crossed a line in the way he criticised President George Maxwell Richards' request for information from the Prime Minister on the Section 34 fiasco.

This was Al-Rawi's response to comments made on Saturday by Warner – the Minister of National Security – that the concerns the President is raising "are the concerns from Balisier House  (the PNM's headquarters)".

 Al-Rawi, who is an Opposition Senator and an attorney, said such comments are unacceptable.

"The line Mr Warner crossed is certainly one which in my view from what I read and from the reports brought back to me is one that crossed into what I think was an attack on the Presidency and more particularly the impartiality of the Presidency,"  Al-Rawi said.

He added that the President needs no defence from the Opposition, which led a march of an estimated 14,000 people to President's House in protest of the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act in September.

"Well, if you are referring to Mr Warner's statement as I've read it, that his Excellency acted out of instructions from Balisier House, I mean, let's call a spade a spade. That is just not on," Al-Rawi said.

Two UNC financiers – businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson- who are facing fraud matters before the courts are among several persons who have filed legal challenges against the hasty repeal of Section 34 by the Parliament.

The People's Partnership administration and its majority party, the UNC, have expressed its position that the Prime Minister provided all of the information on the matter to Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith while he was the acting President.

Al-Rawi says he holds great respect for the Senate President – who was appointed during the People's Partnership administration.