THE Prime Minister has called on Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to “not stain the country” and withdraw the motion to remove President Paula-Mae Weekes from office.
His appeal came less than 48 hours before the Electoral College meets on Thursday to vote on the motion.
At a virtual PNM meeting, streamed live from the San Fernando city hall auditorium on Tuesday evening, Dr Rowley said the convening of the Electoral College, which is made up of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has caused the postponement of the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting. However, he said he would be leading his MPs and senators to the Parliament to vote.
“The Opposition Leader and the imps, pimps and chimps, all of them think they coming to debate and scandalise the President. They don’t even know the law.
“The law makes no provision for any debates on the conduct of the President,” he said, pointing out that they are just going there to vote.”
Directing his attention to Persad-Bissessar, Rowley said: “I want to say to Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar, you are a colleague of mine in the Parliament. Even if you thought something had gone wrong, enough has been made available to you now and there is provision for the withdrawal of a motion in the Parliament, if the mover of a motion is of a changed view and would like to withdraw that motion.
“I would like to ask the Leader of the Opposition tonight, based on what she now knows, based on what this country now knows, notwithstanding your concern or malice in the beginning, don’t put our country through that.
“Don’t put that on our country’s record. Don’t stain our country. Withdraw this motion.”
His request came after he outlined several perceived transgressions of the Government she led between 2010 to 2015, to underscore the point that she was no standard bearer of high values to make demands for the President’s removal.
Rowley also answered nine questions Persad-Bissessar posed after statements made by both him and Weekes over the weekend about the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and issues surrounding the merit list of candidates for the Commissioner of Police (CoP) position.
“Tonight, I want to answer all nine questions and then you should tell me whether we should spend Thursday morning in the Parliament to go and try to remove the President from office.
“Concern number one. ‘When specifically did Rowley,’ that is me, ‘advise the PSC that he had lost faith in the Commissioner of Police?
“Answer – sometime last year.”
“‘What caused his loss of faith?’ His good judgement and understanding.”
“‘Did he only write the chairman or all members of the commission?’
“I wrote the chairman under the understanding that she was chairing a commission and if I wrote the chairman I, in effect, wrote the commission.
“‘Did Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi know of this letter, or was kept in the dark by his Prime Minister?’
“No minister in my Cabinet is ever in the dark.
“‘Did the Cabinet agree to undermine the process, or was this totally the PM’s action?’
“No action of the Cabinet involves any undermining of anything.
“‘What other action against the CoP was undertaken?’
“Ask the PSC.
“‘How many other interferences have Rowley made over the last year since sending the loss of confidence letter?’
“Well, the interface between the PM’s office, the President and the PSC for that matter, is never interference. It is interfacing in the highest tradition of the Commonwealth.
“‘Was confidential information about the PSC being shared between the office of the President and the PM?
“Well, I presume that conversations between the PM and the President on any matter is confidential until either officer decides to make it otherwise.
“But this talking about confidential matter, in all the ‘rah rah’ that was going on, I saw a member of the commission writing a letter to the chairman of the commission about business of the commission where he had an opinion, and sending that to a person who had sued the commission and was appearing in court the very said day the letter arrived.
“Did these people ask about any matter to do with sharing confidential information? But they want to know what the PM and the President talk about. I not telling you.
“And number nine, was there collusion by the President, PM and the PSC to derail the merit list from being sent to Parliament, or was it just coincidence they happen to be at President’s House on August 12.”
Rowley said there was no derailing of the merit list because the President said one was brought to her and was immediately withdrawn.
Having answered the questions, Rowley said Persad-Bissessar must tell the country exactly what the President did that warrants the motion to get the President fired.
“Tell us exactly, in simple English that John Public could understand because you are disgracing the record of our country. Tell us exactly what the President did.
“Because you think so, or you thought so, or it feel so, does not make evidence. And even after it has been corrected, you still want to persevere to stain our country.