Waithe hits Duke's 'sexist' comments

Watson Duke  -
Watson Duke -

NOW political leader and activist Kirk Waithe has slammed a recent comment by Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke in which he criticised Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus as unattractive.

The PNM women's group has also criticised Duke and called on him to apologise.

In a post, Waithe said the party "categorically condemns the utter disrespect" recently shown to Baptiste-Primus by Duke, who is also political leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots and Tobago House of Assembly minority leader. He made the comments during an interview with Fazeer Mohammed on the TV6 Morning Edition programme.

"NOW supports the call for Mr Duke to publicly and unreservedly apologise to Mrs Baptiste-Primus."

Waithe said with incidents of violence against women on the rise, Duke's public display of his "apparent misogynistic and sexist tendencies is as reckless as it is irresponsible."

He added: "NOW reminds the population that Mr Duke is still before the courts on charges of rape and sexual assault."

Waithe said concerns raised about Duke's stewardship of the PSA and its inability to provide audited accounts are valid.

"Citizens of TT must desist from being distracted by Mr Duke's antics, which hit a new low. NOW has zero tolerance for misogyny, sexism and any form of gender-based discrimination. The time for Mr Duke to be held to account is NOW."

In a Facebook video on Saturday Duke said the PNM women's group was being hypocritical.

"It is a known fact that the PNM women group will condemn in others the thing they condone (among themselves)...If is not a PNM women they don't care about you," he said.

Citing a 2018 PNM family day skit involving the removal of a yellow sari from a woman, Duke asked why was the PNM women's group silent on that matter.

"This little black boy, they feel they want to ruffle my feathers, they want to get under my skin."

Duke said he has the utmost respect for women but dismissed Baptiste-Primus as a "waste of time."

Saying he was being modest when he called Baptiste-Primus unattractive, Duke called on the Prime Minister to dismiss her from Cabinet as she was unworthy of being displayed there.

Duke slammed Baptiste-Primus for "allowing thousands of workers to lose their jobs in Petrotrin...for allowing so much hardship to come into this country without defending the cost of living for workers.

"At least if you can't give an increase, give an adjustment in the cost of living allowance."


"Waithe hits Duke’s ‘sexist’ comments"

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