Thursday, February 22, 2018

Slams PNM ‘dirty tactics’

Prime Minister breaks silence on ‘Minister’ video

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said last night that the video showing a man resembling a Government Minister wrapping what appears to be a marijuana cigarette was made public a year ago and conveniently resurfaced on the eve of the protest march against her Government.

“Recently you would have seen a television station airing a video alleged to be that of a Cabinet minister indulging in illicit activity. My response remains as it has always been. I will examine the facts, and then whatever decision must be made in the national interest, I will make it without fear,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“But even as I look at the facts, what I find very unsettling is that it was the same video that, over one year ago the Opposition PNM was the first to start making comments about after it appeared in a weekly newspaper,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar was speaking at the People’s Partnership fourth anniversary celebrations at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas.

Sport Minister Anil Roberts has neither confirmed nor denied he was the man in the video.

A one-minute appearance from Roberts yesterday brought the crowd to a frenzy.

He came on stage around 5.45 p.m. following a presentation from leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People Ashworth Jack.

As he appeared, wearing a white T-shirt with his name on the back, the crowd went wild.

“(Keith) Rowley, you can’t smoke me out,” he said.

The crowd waved flags and banners.

Roberts continued, “Keith Rowley say yesterday, that he was ready to be Prime Minister and that Kamla Persad-Bissessar must call elections now. Like Rowley smoking weed or what?” he asked.

The crowd cheered.

The Prime Minister blamed the PNM for using dirty tactics against her Government to win political points.

“It is the same Opposition led by Keith Rowley who has said over and over again that he expects an election sooner rather than later, as if he knows something no one else does,” she said.

She said it was Rowley who pledged support for a trade unionist’s open threat to the citizens of this nation that he will go all out to “destabilise the country” because of his personal vendetta.

She said it was Rowley who laughed at the Tobago PNM’s Hilton Sandy’s “Calcutta ship” insult to citizens, and rubbed salt in the wound by calling himself a PNM sailor on a PNM ship.

“It is the same Keith Rowley who stood in Parliament and accused an official of your Government of going to New York and threatening people with racial slurs, which were later proven to be a complete lie,” she said.

“It is the same Keith Rowley who sees opposing views in his party as acts of political treason,” she added.

“Then barely a day before a protest march meant to wreak havoc in the lives of citizens, that the PNM supports, a video is aired on a television station,” she said. 

—Additional reporting by Nikita Braxton-Benjamin