Opposition Senator Saddam Hosein has renewed his call for the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Government and Sandals Resorts to be made public.
In a statement, Hosein said he observed that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the MOU was signed, as he addressed a PNM public meeting in San Fernando last Friday. Rowley first announced the MOU was signed on October 12, during his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Representatives.
A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on October 6 said Government and Sandals delegations agreed to the MOU at a meeting on October 4. Rowley and Sandals owner Gordon “Butch”Stewart led the respective delegations. The OPM said discussions focused on the timing of the project and the use of private equity investment.
Rowley said the model for the Sandals would be similar to the ones used for the Hilton Trinidad and the Hyatt Regency. He said those models involved Government constructing the hotel but an international hotel brand would manage the facility. The OPM said the population will be updated on the project when new information is available.
Hosein said citizens are entitled to know the arrangements for the construction of the Sandals resort, “in the interest of transparency.”
In a separate statement, Naparima MP Rodney Charles claimed the country is facing imminent dictatorship under the PNM. He alleged,”Constant PNM insinuations in Parliament of impending police action against Opposition MPs seem to suggest intimate and prior knowledge of ongoing police investigations.”
Charles also said it is disturbing that “ex-military officers” such as retired Major General Edmund Dillon and retired Brigadier General Ancil Antoine are Government MPs.
He said Rowley, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Minister in the OPM Stuart Young must clearly state, “they are committed to the rule of law, the separation of powers concept and the principles of democracy.”