OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is set to file a motion of contempt against the Prime Minister, whom she accused of deliberately misleading the Parliament on Monday, during a government motion to approve the state of emergency as an anti-covid19 measure.
Responding to the Opposition’s call for an investigation into the reasons for the latest spike in covid19 infections and deaths, Dr Rowley said Trinidad and Tobago was the only country he knew of in the Caribbean where, in the middle of a pandemic, “the Opposition organised gatherings called vigils – thousands of people for a month – trying to exploit the death of Andrea Bharatt...”
Bharatt, a 23-year-old Arima magistrates’ court clerk, was kidnapped and murdered in February.
Rowley also accused the Opposition of organising and paying for transport to take people to the vigils.
At a virtual news conference on Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar said Rowley’s statements were erroneous.
“They were lies and he was misrepresenting and misleading the Parliament,” she said.
“The Prime Minister would have known that the statements were not true because he would be briefed by officials from the Ministry of Health. Based on all the research, data presented and technocrats at the Ministry of Health, there is no link between the vigils and the current number of high infections.
“In fact, the current spike has been attributed to the mass movement of 50,000 persons between Trinidad and Tobago for Easter.”
She also said there was no merit to the claim that the UNC organised and paid transport costs for people to attend the vigils.
“Yes, some (Opposition members) may have attended (the vigils)...So did the Attorney General."
Persad-Bissessar said the Prime Minister’s statements brought the House into disrepute and has caused public outrage.
“While the Prime Minister does have parliamentary privilege, it must be exercised in a decent, responsible, truthful and honest manner.
“As the head of the Government, especially at a sensitive time of a state of emergency, the Prime Minister must be held accountable for his misleading and untruthful statements.”
This motion, she said, will be laid at the earliest opportunity.