Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has described as "laughably hypocritical", comments made by Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal on the government awarding contracts to criminals.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Dr Rowley defended claims that government ministers were awarding contracts to criminals.
The following is the prime minister's statement.
"In response to the scandalous behavior of the UNC, a party that has yet again been caught recruiting and promoting criminals into the political process, Dr Roodal Moonilal accuses the Government of awarding lucrative contracts to unsavoury characters.
This, coming from Dr Moonilal is laughably hypocritical since he is the ONLY known Minister of any Government who used taxpayers’ dollars to pay a photographer to follow him around to photograph and promote him in these activities and currently is the only photo we have of any Minister promoting that for which he now says is an action which undermines the effort of the Police. What an epiphany!
He goes on to call on this Government to have Ministers stop “awarding contracts” to criminals. In this Government, contracts are not awarded by any Minister.
That was a feature of the last Government and was a major stimulus to the rampant corruption that was the hallmark of that period 2010-2015, when Ministers even collected the cheque payments owed to contractors who then had to bargain for the release of such funds. Dr Moonilal more than anyone else knows that this Government knows that.
He also speaks self-righteously about the troublesome issue of petty criminals getting Government contracts but is absolutely silent on the presence of criminals on the UNC political platform and in the Parliament.
This Government has been and continues to fight criminal conduct at every level and will continue to support law enforcement in all their lawful efforts to rid the country of this scourge in all its forms."