Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that Diego Martin Central MP Darryl Smith must not only be fired from the Cabinet but also resign his seat as he no longer has the moral authority to represent the mothers, sisters and daughters of the constituency.
On Monday Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced a Cabinet reshuffle with Smith, who had been linked to a settlement of $150,000 for wrongful dismissal arising out of sexual harassment allegations by Smith's former personal secretary, to be moved from the Sport and Youth Affairs Ministry to Minister in the Ministry of Housing while Rowley would be assuming the Housing Ministry portfolio from Randall Mitchell.
In a release Persad-Bissessar described the latest Cabinet reshuffle as “outrageous and insulting to the people of this country.” She said in Smith's case in particular the Prime Minister has ignored the call of all right-minded citizens of Trinidad and Tobago including activist group Womantra, the Opposition, independent commentators and a newspaper editorial.
"Newspaper reports have shown that ministry funds were used to settle a case in which the allegations of sexual harassment were made against Darryl Smith. The Prime Minister not only needs to fire Smith but demand his resignation from the seat of Diego Martin Central. Darryl Smith no longer has the moral authority to represent the mothers, sisters and daughters of Diego Martin Central and he should resign his seat."
Persad-Bissessar pointed out that as a former prime minister she was fully aware of how heavy the workload of the position can be and Rowley will not have the time to perform his prime ministerial duties, which he is already neglecting, and run a mega-ministry such as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
"In effect, the Prime Minister has promoted Darryl Smith to Minister of Housing and Urban Development. One can only wonder how the female employees of the Ministry, HDC and UDECOTT must feel given the allegations against their new boss."