...chastises PM for making deputy Speaker announcement
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has chastised Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar for announcing "as part of her Cabinet reshuffle the appointment of Nela Khan as deputy Speaker".
Rowley said yesterday when Persad-Bissessar gathered all her MPs at her office and made her announcement to the country on June 22, "in her desire to please everybody" she announced that Khan was moved as Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism to Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.
"The Deputy Speaker is not a matter for the Prime Minister. The Deputy Speaker is elected by the Legislative arm, by all parliamentarians. For the Prime Minister to announce that she is appointing Nela Khan as deputy Speaker is to assume a power she does not have," Rowley said.
Rowley, speaking at the Opposition Leader's Office, Charles Street, Port of Spain, also slammed the Prime Minister for her appointment of Ganga Singh as a minister, saying the Prime Minister was bringing her friend into the Cabinet to strengthen her hand in the cabal.
Rowley said Singh's record was that he was the minister responsible for public utilities when the InnCogen scandal, including "all the details of the short pants man" broke.
There was another scandal involving Desalcott, Rowley said, adding that "the (PNM) government of this country was still not satisfied that it was able to complete these Desalcott investigations because the people involved ran away to Israel where they couldn't be properly extradited".
Rowley said when this Government brought Singh as the chief executive officer of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), PNM protested and the Prime Minister and then line minister Emmanuel George said it was a temporary appointment and the post would be advertised.
In breach of this undertaking, Rowley said, Singh was then appointed CEO of WASA and now has been made a minister.
"What we have is a bunch of people who did not expect to be in office. The PNM got a vaps and called the election, they got together in six weeks and had one requirement—you had to be anti-PNM. But that worked well only up to election day. ... This Government has no plan, no programme, is short on competence ... and honesty," he said.