OPPOSITION leader Dr Keith Rowley says it seems as if Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar has lost her mind.
Rowley was responding to calls by Persad-Bissessar for him to dissolve the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and call elections.
Persad-Bissessar issued the challenge in response to calls by Rowley for her to call general elections in wake of the Section 34 controversy and the firing of Justice Minister Herbert Volney. "I suspect that the Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago is not all together there, because that statement is so foolish it makes me wonder whether she understands or whether she is disrespectful because, for a start, I have nothing to do with the Tobago House of Assembly.
"The Tobago House of Assembly is governed by a law that does not give the Prime Minister the role that she has given herself," said Rowley.
In fact, according to the THA's website (www.tha.gov.tt), the Assembly shall continue for four years from the date of its first sitting after any primary election, and shall then stand dissolved unless the Assembly, by resolution, dissolves itself at an earlier date.
Furthermore, it added that the President, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary, shall fix the date of a primary election, which date shall not be earlier than the expiration of two months after the dissolution of the Assembly, nor later than three months after that dissolution.
"Secondly, I was not talking to her as any member of the Assembly or as a Tobagonian; I spoke to her as the Opposition leader of the country speaking to the Prime Minister of the Government of the country, so I find her response quite troubling," Rowley said. He was speaking to reporters at the official launch of the Dr Eric Williams Institute of Political Education at Queen's Royal College, Port of Spain, yesterday, when he made the comments.
Questioned on exactly what he intends to do if Persad-Bissessar fails to remove Attorney General Anand Ramlogan tomorrow, he said we should wait and see, but do not expect people to move on.
"We will not just move on, the Government is trying to encourage us to move on while they have a lot to say about one member of the Government who has been dismissed, and we are not prepared to accept that wrapping up all the responsibilities in the name of one person and throwing that person under the bus ends the story. In fact, we are now more concerned that persons who have responsibilities are taking to hide within the walls of the Cabinet, and we are not prepared to accept that," he said.
Rowley added that people of this country should resist the Government's "do as we please" attitude while remaining vigilant. "They can say that (we can't do much), they have been saying that all along, but we know what we can do. The power of the offices that (the Government) holds lies with the people. There is no royalty in this country, they can sing it as much as they like, but the power in this country lies with the people," he said.