Ameen: Still time for Kangaloo to withdraw as presidential nominee

St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen. -
St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen. -

KHADIJAH AMEEN, St Augustine MP, made an eleventh-hour appeal for former Senate president Christine Kangaloo to withdraw as Government's nominee for the new President of the Republic, to be decided when Parliament's Electoral College sits on Friday.

At a news conference at the Opposition Leader's office in Port of Spain on Wednesday, Ameen said Kangaloo was "a creature of the PNM."

"There is still time," Ameen advised Kangaloo.

"The PNM has chosen to ignore the voices of citizens in questioning the independence of Christine Kangaloo who was a former PNM minister who has, for many years been on PNM platforms, been preaching the gospel of the PNM.

"The question is whether she, as a president of the republic, will be implementing the gospel of the PNM."

Ameen again said Kangaloo had time to step down.

"If Christine Kangaloo is a woman of integrity she will withdraw herself from this nomination.

"She can save herself and this country the embarrassment of having a politically-appointed President of TT.

"She can save herself from tainting every independent organisation in this country where persons are appointed by the Office of the President – from Commissioner of Police, Integrity Commission and other independent bodies – from being tainted by the PNM. She can save TT the embarrassment."

The process for the selection of a Commissioner of Police is initiated by the Police Service Commission which is appointed by the President.

Newsday asked if there was enough time to withdraw, given Friday's Electoral College plus a constitutional timeline for submission of nominations.

"If a persons dies or withdraws or indicates they are no longer interested, the Government would have no choice but to start over the process."

Asked by Newsday if a sudden withdrawal by Kangaloo would make the UNC's nominee Israel Khan, SC, President by default, Ameen said she'd leave that question to the constitutional experts.

"Certainly, from a moral perspective, Christine Kangaloo still has the opportunity to do the right thing in the eyes of the public by withdrawing herself.

"It's something she should have done before today, I think when the public outcry came, as questions (arose) in terms of her political affiliation."

Ameen said Kangaloo's PNM-links were not just individual but familial.

"Christine Kangaloo belongs to a family that is engrained and entrenched in the PNM. Christine Kangaloo-Garcia has had her husband, her father-in-law and numerous members of her family appointed in Government positions as ministers, as appointees to politically-appointed state boards, receiving state briefs, and so on. And the question is whether she herself will be isolated from the PNM."

Kangaloo's husband is attorney Kerwin Garcia, son of former education minister Anthony Garcia.

Ameen did not think Kangaloo's husband was unbiased in singing her praises in the media recently.

Newsday asked about reports Kangaloo had resigned from the PNM and whether her stint as Senate president afforded her the dignity and decorum of independent high office.

Ameen responded, "Do you believe that the woman who was appointed by the PNM as president of the Senate and appointed a government minister on numerous occasions, who has attended countless PNM meetings, who has been on PNM platforms singing PNM praises pledging to carry the gospel of the PNM wherever she goes...Do you believe she could be unbiased? I highly doubt it.

"I'm certain there are many esteemed citizens in TT who are independent in their political background who can hold the position of President of the Republic."

Ameen urged citizens to speak out for democracy.

"You hear about kangaroo court where justice is hijacked.

"The question is whether this will be a kangaroo election where democracy will be hijacked on Friday."


"Ameen: Still time for Kangaloo to withdraw as presidential nominee"

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