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Sunday 26 January 2020
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Charles: Interview shows PM throwing in the towel

Opposition MPs, David Lee MP for Pointe a Pierre and Rodney Charles, MP for Naparima. - ROGER JACOB
Opposition MPs, David Lee MP for Pointe a Pierre and Rodney Charles, MP for Naparima. - ROGER JACOB

Naparima MP Rodney Charles says the Prime Minister's passing grade to National Security Minister Stuart Young shows the head of government has accepted defeat and the country is rapidly heading to a failed state.

Charles, in an e-mailed press release sent the day after the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) released an interview Dr Rowley did with journalist Khamal Georges, wondered in which developed country the leader of a government would give a passing grade to a security minister who oversaw an actual climb in the murder rate.

He pointed out that Young was minister in 2018, when the murder toll was 516, and in 2019, it actually increased to 538, yet Rowley defended him in the interview. Charles said in Singapore, Young would have been dismissed as security minister.

He said the interview on Sunday showed the prime minister judges his Cabinet appointees not on the basis of measurable performance but by "the energy they bring to their jobs." Young's performance and passing grade were laughable, Charles said.

He said because of Young's inexperience, competence, track record and qualifications, he should not have been given such a critical and sensitive position.

Charles said that under t national security minister Edmund Dillon, the murder rate never reached 500, yet he was fired and replaced by a man who oversaw this ministry and the continued rise in the murder rate. Even deceased minister Martin Joseph had a better track record than Young, Charles said, adding that while Joseph was in the hotseat when TT recorded its highest-ever murder rate of 550 in 2008, by the next year, the figure was down to 509.

He pointed to Rowley's hiring Young as security minister as evidence that Rowley does not know his job as "CEO of corporate TT."

He also described the interview with George as political and not meeting the criteria for government broadcasts. The interview was managed and produced by the OPM.

"We cannot take incompetence much longer. We call on Rowley to have mercy on us. We deserve better. He cannot continue to inflict mediocrity on us. We do not know how much longer we can take this pressure of stupidity, non-performance, corruption and plain incompetence," Charles said as he called on the prime minister to give a date for the general election.

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