Prime Minister Rowley has said it may be time to make a formal background check by the T&T Police Service’s Special Branch unit a mandatory part of the vetting process for prospective officeholders.
“It has not been part of our system and it may very well be that the time has come for us to look at that,” Rowley said yesterday.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley says he first heard that Marlene McDonald was in police custody via Facebook or WhatsApp last Thursday and was only told officially that she was being charged around 10.30 pm last Sunday.
"As Prime Minister and National Security chairman, where a Minister is in custody, the systems in T&T are so secure that nobody in officialdom communicated to me there was substance to what was going on before or during, or that a Minister was in custody for a reason," he added yesterday.
Even as he fumed at the media for “trying to pin” Marlene McDonald’s corruption scandal on him, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Thursday admitted that he exercised flawed judgment by reinstating her as a Cabinet minister despite the trail of allegations that dogged her.
Rowley faced the media yesterday for the first time since McDonald was arrested at her Maracas, St Joseph home last Thursday. She has been charged with seven offences of corruption, fraud and misbehaviour in public office and is now home on $2 million bail.
"As far as the Government is concerned, there is no crisis in Trinidad and Tobago."
Those were the words of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as he began addressing Thursday's post-Cabinet news conference on the matter of dismissed minister Marlene McDonald.
"A crisis means different things for different people. For us the ship of state flows smoothly along," he said.
But the prime minister has admitted that he made an error in judgement by having returned Marlene McDonald to the Cabinet, despite the allegations she had been facing when he did.
Former People's Partnership minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie says the $88 Million debt being touted as the reason for staff cuts at the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) is nothing more than a red herring.
Speaking on CNC3's The Morning Brew with host Hema Ramkissoon, Tewarie said if the PNM administration had followed through with plans put in place under his tenure for the development of the Chaguaramas peninsula from 2012 to 2015, the CDA would be in a much better position.
Sixty-eight employees of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) will be sent home in the coming weeks as the authority seeks to reduce its expenditure and tackle its $88 million debt.
In a release yesterday, the authority said the salaries of its current staff of 200 accounts for 72 per cent of its income—twice what it was in 2010.
Days before she unveils her slate of local government candidates, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has extended an olive branch to labour leaders asking them to give her another chance to get into government.
Moments before Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the opening of nominations for general elections, Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan announced that he will not be seeking political office again.
Speaking at the Gasparillo Secondary School during the UNC's meeting on Tuesday night, Rambachan said he wanted to serve as a mentor to the youths of his party rather than serve in office as an elected MP.
Rambachan had served for 50 years with the UNC and was a former Minister of Works under Persad-Bissessar's regime.
Prime Minister and Political Leader of the People's National Movement (PNM) Dr Keith Rowley has revoked the appointment of Marlene McDonald as the deputy political leader of the PNM.
Dr Rowley made the announcement via his Facebook page.
"As The Political Leader of the People's National Movement, I have today revoked the appointment of Ms Marlene McDonald as Deputy Political Leader of the PNM," the statement said.