Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has put newly-elected President Anthony Carmona on notice about what he has said is Government's "incompetence" and alleged "corruption" which he claims is "growing like a cancer in the corridors of authority in Trinidad and Tobago. "
He also pointed to allegations of "serious criminal conduct, involving the business partner/s of persons in the Cabinet" who, he said, "are the subject of the interest of a foreign government."
Acknowledging the hope and change that some were already feeling with the coming of a new President, Rowley noted however that in the political arena and in the People's Partnership Government, nothing has changed.
"So as President Carmona comes in, there is great hope in the bosom of many, and some people are beginning to feel that we have made that change already. I simply want to remind the President and all who will listen, that things remain the same in the political arena, as of tonight things remain the same in the Cabinet and as the sun comes up tomorrow morning things remain the same in T&T," Rowley said.
He told President Carmona, "what you will meet is incompetence of the highest order, what you would meet is corruption like a cancer growing in the corridors of authority in Trinidad and Tobago, and across the nation, encouraged by the Government."
He added, "What you would also meet is unacceptable criminal conduct, you would meet allegations of criminal conduct at the level of the Cabinet, and of course you will see the Parliament engaged in the creation of soldier/police."
Rowley was speaking Tuesday evening at a public meeting at the Princes Royal Park, Hollis Avenue, Arima in the lead-up to the Local Government Elections due by July 2013, where he publicly endorsed Carmona's presidency saying he had the fullest support of all who identify with the PNM.
The Opposition Leader also called on Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, to bring legal action against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, following the victory of 250 Clico policyholders, represented by attorney Ramesh Lawrence-Maharaj (SC) who were awarded a $300 million payout by the court earlier this month.
He made the call in the context of legal action being brought against former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam by the AG, for failing to properly advise the former board of Evolving Technologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (eTeck) in a $30 million business deal that went sour. The action was filed in February this year.
In June 2011, the eTeck board, and its chairman Ken Julien were sued by the AG but the Court of Appeal ruled in the board's favour in December last year.
According to Rowley, "the case filed by the policy holders was not against the Government nor against the attorney general, as is being portrayed by some in the media, but against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. "
He said that as CEO of the Cabinet the Prime Minister should be held accountable since a decision taken by her had cost the State millions of dollars in much the same way that action was being taken against eTeck.
"Tonight I call on the AG, you don't have to wait for any appeal… because the court has ruled…the court never ruled on Ken Julien at eTeck, the Court never ruled on Lincoln Warner in Mason Hall Tobago, the Court never ruled on Ulric McNicolls, the Court never ruled against Wendy Fitzwilliam, but you sue all of them because you the AG decided that decisions that they made in business, in the public sector were such that the State lost money, and they are now facing serious lawsuits and their reputations being damaged because you say so
"…Well the Court has ruled in a matter against Kamla Persad-Bissessar that will cost this country hundreds of millions more. When are you suing her? Instead of suing her you appealing the CLICO case. What are you appealing?
"What we are seeing here is Government going after Wendy Fitzwilliam and Ken Julien but it has no interest in going after the Prime Minister for a decision she made as head of the Cabinet in the CLICO matter… but Wendy Fitzwilliam is sued for not giving good advice."
"It cannot be good for one and not for the other," he admonished.