PORT OF SPAIN — Jack Warner was a big distraction, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said last night.
While admitting that Warner was a hard worker, Persad-Bissessar said the controversies plaguing him were distracting from the accomplishments of the People’s Partnership.
She also said that she promised change and not exchange with respect to transparency and honesty in governance.
Speaking on her home ground at Penal junction at the UNC’s Monday night forum, Persad-Bissessar, who celebrated her 61st birthday yesterday, praised Warner for his contribution to the country but made it clear that the work of her Government and party – the United National Congress – will continue.
In fact, she asserted that the fight against crime presses on and victory at the local government polls was a priority.
Warner on Sunday resigned as National Security Minister and yesterday also tendered his resignation as UNC chairman.
His resignations follow a report presented by Concacaf’s integrity body which found that he was fraudulent in his management of the entity during his tenure as the president.
The prime minister said she accepted Warner’s resignation “after careful scrutiny of all the facts before me and after counter-balancing the interests of the Cabinet”.
She said Warner’s resignation as party chairman was also accepted and the vacancy will be filled according to the rules, “so the work of the party continues uninterrupted”.
She explained why she decided to accept Warner’s resignation.
“Mr. Warner’s resignation from the cabinet comes with a degree of regret as he was a highly industrious and productive member of the government, having served with distinction in the Ministries of Works and National Security,” she said.
“His outstanding contribution to country and government and service to people and community shall remain a legacy of his tenure as a cabinet minister and MP,” said Persad-Bissessar.
“Mr Warner’s resignation would allow for the government of Trinidad and Tobago to continue apace with its developmental objectives without distraction and would further permit him time and space to adequately treat with the matters raised,” she added.
The prime minister thanked Warner for his years of service to country and also emphasised that his resignation was not forced, but a voluntary one in the best interest of the country. (Express)