Persad-Bissessar calls on PM to address confidentiality concerns raised by President Carmona

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 16:00

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the Prime Minister to respond to claims of a breach of confidentiality after President Anthony Carmona raised questions about a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister, ended up in the hands of journalists.

The following is Persad-Bissessar's statement:

"Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley must tell the nation what he knows about a breach of confidentiality in communication between his office and that of the President of the Republic.

Dr. Rowley must waste no time in advising a concerned populace about how details of classified correspondence between the two top offices in the country were reported in the national media.

He must immediately respond to the alarming disclosure made this afternoon by His Excellency about private communication getting into the hands of a media organisation.

Further, the Prime Minister must indicate whether or not he had been briefed by His Excellency about the proposed meeting between the President and the Minister of National Security and his advisors.

He must state whether he had sanctioned such meeting.

If Dr. Rowley did, indeed, approve such a discussion, what was his justification for seeking legal advice on the constitutionality of the meeting?

What led to the selection of Mr. Martin Daly S.C. to provide such legal opinion?

Was Mr. Daly recommended to Dr. Rowley by any personal associates?

Was Mr. Daly informed of His Excellency’s prior consultation with the Prime Minister on the matter?

How much did Mr. Daly’s professional services cost the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago?

How did details of Mr. Daly’s confidential advice also get into the national media?

Dr. Rowley has a critical responsibility to address this matter since it impacts the integrity and credibility of the Office of Prime Minister.

This issue arises at a time when Dr. Rowley’s standing and reliability on other important matters have been called into question.

They include his interpretation of the sequence of events pertaining to the Parliamentary debate on the FATCA legislation and the deadline for compliance.

This current issue also finds a reflection in Dr. Rowley’s unfounded and malicious “Emailgate” allegations under Parliamentary protection.

It also ties in with his criticism of independent national offices and personalities and dismissal of office-holders who do not toe the PNM line.

Dr. Rowley must immediately address this potentially scandalous issue."