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UNC: PM can’t reappoint him

Published: 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

For a number of reasons, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley cannot reappoint Robert Le Hunte as Public Utilities Minister, the Opposition has stressed.

Commenting on Le Hunte’s Ghana citizenship issue yesterday, United National Congress chairman David Lee added: “Yet another debacle based on lack of proper due diligence.

“Under the PP administration, protocol was that appointees were vetted by the Attorney General’s office.

“Moreover, the issue of lack of integrity arises on Mr Le Hunte’s part, since he should have disclosed his status before accepting the job. In the face of that, the Prime Minister cannot reappoint him.”

The Opposition, via a statement, also slammed Government’s “sheer incompetence.”

“The latest firing of Le Hunte has once again brought to the fore that this Government cannot accomplish the most basic tasks of being in charge. The Prime Minister’s inability to fill a Cabinet vacancy, without incident, is a failure of leadership in the highest order.

“The Prime Minister has also acknowledged that the Constitution has been violated and that this breach, under his hand, has brought the Office of the President into disrepute, again. A remedy to this situation cannot simply be reappointment of Mr Le Hunte once his situation is ‘rectified.’”

Accusing the PM of misleading the President, the UNC added: “Reappointment of Mr Le Hunte isn’t an option. The Opposition will not accept this matter as a mere faux pas. Any attempts by the PNM to paint this gross violation of our Constitution as a mistake will not be accepted. The suggestion that this could be easily rectified and swept under the rug is ludicrous.”

It added: “This is a breach of the Constitution and T&T’s laws. The Prime Minister has to accept responsibility for bringing the two highest offices in our land into disrepute. Therefore, reappointing Mr. Le Hunte will be met with tremendous resistance.”

The Opposition said the lack of vetting in the matter also brings into question all of Rowley’s appointments.

“The PM has said the most important assignment a Prime Minister will have is selecting the right people for the positions they are given— by his own measure he’s failed.”

Former PP minister Vasant Bharath added: “This embarrassing error is another testament to the absence of the Prime Minister’s leadership skills, showing his lack of intellectual investment in leading T&T.

“How can Mr Le Hunte be trusted to seek the interest of the people when he’d have recently taken the oath of office while knowing fully well he was a citizen of Ghana. This begs the question of whether Mr Le Hunte has lied under oath.”

He added: “Citizens deserve better from the Prime Minister, who must apologise to the nation for failure to do his job, and should forfeit any thought of appointing Mr Le Hunte in future.”

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