PM denies offering Charles incentive to resign

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left, greets Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles at the opening of the PM residence in Blenheim on December 21, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY Office of the Chief Secretary  - Office of the Chief Secretary
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left, greets Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles at the opening of the PM residence in Blenheim on December 21, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY Office of the Chief Secretary - Office of the Chief Secretary

The Prime Minister has described as "total fabrications" stories carried by two media houses which claimed he met with Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles on Monday after the latter's defeat against Tracy Davidson-Celestine in the PNM Tobago Council runoff election on January 26.

One of the stories was aired on television on Monday night and the other, published on Tuesday, claimed Charles was offered an ambassadorial appointment as well as the option of staying on as a secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

As wel as being Chief Secretary, Charles is also the Secretary for Education, Innovation and Energy and the representative for Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden.

In the wake of his loss, Davidson-Celestine, TT's ambassador to Costa Rica, called on Charles to step down as Chief Secretary but he has refused to do, insisting he intends to serve out his term as an elected member of the assembly. The THA election is constitutionally due next year.

Rowley made it clear he did not meet with the Chief Secretary on Monday nor was Charles offered a diplomatic posting.

A post on the PM's Facebook page on Tuesday said: "The Prime Minister confirms that these stories are total fabrications since no such meeting ever took place nor was there any conversation of that nature and no offer was made to Mr Charles."

A high-ranking PNM source in Tobago also said the stories were false.

"I am saying that those two stories have absolutely no truth in it. I don't know where they got those two stories from, because I had a conversation with the current Chief Secretary, and there is absolutely no truth to both stories."

He continued: "I don't know if it's orchestrated mischief, because outside of that, I don't know where they could get that story from. If it did not happen, how you could have two stories running back to back saying something happened that did not happen?"

The PNM source believes the stories were designed to damage Charles's credibility.

On reports that a motion of no-confidence in Charles is to be debated on Friday at a special sitting of the assembly, the source said: "I am hearing what everybody is hearing and reading."

Davidson-Celestine was expected to host her first executive meeting as new Tobago Council political leader at 5pm on Tuesday.

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"PM denies offering Charles incentive to resign"

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