Thursday, February 22, 2018

Govt marks 4 years in office

Big rally in Chaguanas today


‘ROAD TO RECOVERY’: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Mark Fraser

The ruling People’s Partnership, which has survived the pulling out of one of its partners —the Movement of Social Justice — and the firing of several ministers, will hold its fourth anniversary rally today at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas.

Since assuming office in 2010, the government has dismissed several ministers and received resignations from others. Up to yesterday there was a march in Port of Spain against the Government, led by the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and several other civil society groups on governance issues.

The annual May 24 celebration has been dubbed the “People’s Rally: The People’s Partnership continuing on the Road to Recovery into the next six years”. The rally is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will include live entertainment as is customary. 

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been identified as the event’s feature speaker who will be joined by others who have been described in the advertisement as “dynamic leaders of the People’s Revolution”. 

The rally will also be carried via live broadcast on several radio stations and television channels.


Firings and resignation


 Former minister of the people and social development Glenn Ramadharsingh became the 11th minister to be fired from the Government in March of this year. 

 He was followed shortly by former minister of tourism Chandresh Sharma who resigned following calls for him to be fired amid a police investigation for physical assault on his former girlfriend.

 Four of the ministers who were given their marching papers were fired in response to specific allegations: *Mary King was the first to go when in May 2011 there was an allegation of a conflict of interest in the award of a contract. 

In August 2012  Minister in the Ministry of National Security Collin Partap followed after allegations surfaced that he refused to take a breathalyser test after leaving a nightclub.

One month later the then justice minister Herbert Volney was sacked, for allegedly misleading the Cabinet over the Section 34 fiasco and Christlyn Moore appointed in his place but by September 2013 she too was gone. 

Others who lost their positions in the government included Subhas Panday, minister in the national security ministry, who was let go in the first Cabinet reshuffle. 

Therese Baptiste-Cornelis and Nan Ramgoolam also lost their portfolios back then. Devant Maharaj, Verna St Rose-Greaves and Nicole Dyer Griffith were chosen to replace the first three but by June 2012, there were more changes to the Cabinet with St Rose-Greaves, John Sandy and Dyer Griffith being sent home. Jamal Mohammed and Marlene Coudray entered the arena as those three exited.

Mohammed’s appointment was short-lived and by September 2013 he was replaced by Gerry Hadeed as minister of communications. 

Gary Griffith was appointed National Security Minister when Jack Warner  resigned in April last year. Warner was temporarily replaced by Emmanuel George.