Jack can hold Cabinet and FIFA posts

Works and Transport Minister and FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner

Works & Transport Minister and FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner

UPDATE: Jun 18, 2010

KAMLA: JACK STAYS PUT
FOUR eminent legal counsels hired by the Government have advised Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Cabinet that Jack Warner is not breaking any law by simultaneously holding the posts of Works and Transport Minister and vice president of the world football body, FIFA.

PM: If his workload is too much, I’ll act
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner will remain as Minister of Works and Transport, although he holds the post of vice president of the international football body, FIFA.

Jack can hold Cabinet, FIFA posts
Four legal experts, former President Sir Ellis Clarke, Sir Fenton Ramsahoye SC, Sir Michael Beloff QC and Russell Martineau SC all unanimously agree that there are no laws which prohibit Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner from serving as Works and Transport Minister and as a FIFA vice-president. The issue was raised by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. The opinions of the four legal luminaries are published below and on Pages 18A, 20A.

Experts: No law against Warner serving two posts
There are no legal obstacles to Jack Warner’s carrying out the functions of Works and Transport Minister while serving as an executive at world governing body, Fifa.

JACK CLEARED
AG’s legal experts say Works Minister has broken no law with two jobs
Jack Warner can keep his two posts. His is free to pursue both his position as Works and Transport Minister in the People’s Partnership administration and Vice-President of Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).

Kamla keeps Jack in Cabinet
The Government’s boss has spoken—and she’s keeping Jack Warner as Works Minister, Fifa post and all.

Conflict of interest unlikely
Following is Sir Ellis Clarke’s opinion on the issue of Jack Warner being Minister of Works and Transport while simultaneously serving as vice-president of FIFA. Sir Ellis had been engaged by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to give his opinion on the matter.

Jack Warner’s dual roles
The legitimacy of Jack Warner’s appointment as Minister of Works and Transport while simultaneously holding the position of vice president of FIFA and directorship of Concacaf has raised political and constitutional issues of some magnitude.

Rowley dismisses legal opinions
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is dismissing the opinions of four independent attorneys on the Jack Warner controversy as irrelevant.

Rowley: What about ethics?

***

Jack Warner Keeps His Two Posts

UPDATE: Jun 17, 2010

Prime Minister Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has determined that Jack Warner is free to hold his two positions as Works and Transport Minister and Vice-President of FIFA.

Legal minds concur that no laws have been broken with regards to the dual roles of Jack Warner as Works and Transport Minister and as FIFA Vice-President. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan revealed the findings at today’s Post-Cabinet Media Briefing.

In addition to the services of Russell Martineau SC, Sir Fenton Ramsahoye QC, and Michael Beloff QC, the Attorney General also turned to former President Sir Ellis Clarke who is regarded as the grandfather of the Trinidad and Tobago constitution. Sir Ellis Clarke said that it is difficult to see how a conflict of interest is likely to arise as a result of a Cabinet Minister being a Vice President of FIFA. But Sir Ellis noted another issue. He says the practical question, on the other hand, is can a person give adequate attention to the duties of Cabinet Minister if he is also Vice President of FIFA?

In his correspondence Sir Ellis notes that it is not a matter for the Integrity Commission to decide but rather a matter for the Prime Minister.

Noted Privy Council jurist Michael Beloff QC, has concluded that there is nothing in the law of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago or the Ethics Code to require Mr. Warner to resign from his unpaid part time role with FIFA. He holds the opinion that Mr. Warner’s position at FIFA is beneficial to Trinidad and Tobago. He stated that Mr. Warner’s high office in the international body is calculated to bring prestige to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago rather than to damage its interest.

Speaking at a press conference, Prime Minister Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said that after careful consideration of the advice of the attorneys Mr. Warner has broken no law and it is a matter of work ethics as such. She said there is no reason why Mr. Warner can’t keep both positions. The Prime Minister said that she has weighed all the views and she was of the view that there is no reason for Mr. Warner to step down or for his appointment to be revoked.

The Prime Minister said she isn’t worried by those who would disagree with her position. She said that we cannot continue to live B.C.; the world has changed and there is so much more to gain from the kind of contacts that Mr. Warner has and what he can bring to Trinidad and Tobago.

***

Must Jack Choose Between FIFA and Cabinet?

June 05, 2010

Works and Transport Minister, Jack Warner and Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley

Works and Transport Minister, Jack Warner and
Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley

Rowley Cries Foul on Warner
MOMENTS after receiving his instrument of appointment at the country’s new Opposition Leader, from President George Maxwell Richards at Knowsley in Port-of-Spain, People’s National Movement (PNM) Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley jokingly remarked that he would have preferred to have been reporting to the President as the country’s Prime Minister instead.

Rowley later went straight for the political jugular of the Government, disclosing he will write to the Integrity Commission to say whether it was proper for Jack Warner to serve as Works Minister while remaining as FIFA’s vice-president.

Fifa or T&T Cabinet!
Minutes after receiving his instrument of appointment yesterday, new Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley demanded that Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner, who is also a vice-president of Fifa, give up one of the jobs.

Jack must choose
Opposition Leader Rowley to write Integrity Commission: Works Minister cannot also be FIFA vice president

Jack: I am not as easy a bait as Manning was
‘I am not an easy target,’ Jack Warner, Minister of Works and Transport, said last night in response to statements by new Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley, that he would be brought before the Integrity Commission.

***

Related:

Warner FIFA’s Connections Beneficial to T&T

55 Responses to “Jack can hold Cabinet and FIFA posts”


  • Imbert knocks Jack’s Bus Route plan

    Seeking a way out of the jam

    Opening the Priority
    As was expected, Jack Warner “hit the ground running”, making and keeping his promises even before he was properly ensconced in his new office.

    • Rowley and your P.N.M Party Do not keep insulting our interlect, because for seven long years you neglected your people.
      Look at the log in your eye and stop looking at the splinter in Jack Warner’s eye . Your Party has collapsed. try and pick up the pieces and mind your own business ,and Leave Jack Warner alone.
      However Do not underestimate Jack Warner,s capabilities.
      In West Moorings for years these people homes got flooded out over and over again you ever put on your boots walk the area and explain how to fix the drainage there and gave them any hope ? Right now they live in fear the rainy season is here again . No. instead you drove by and watched women in the road shoveling the mud themselves .Therefore 24-7 you were in the Country and the most you did was drive by .If it does flood in that area again seeing this area no with representative either Jack will help them or seeing you will have no time as usual Rocky will have to step in . Anybody ever thought about these people’s plight A people that pay a great deal of taxes and very law abiding citizens at that .Give me A Break.—- Leave Jack Alone.

      • “Rowley and your P.N.M Party Do not keep insulting our interlect, because for seven long years you neglected your people” The question is not whether Jack is capable or being FIFA vice president and a member of the
        cabinet, it is by so doing could there be a conflict of interest in the performance of official duties on either end of his public positions?. In public life this is a necessary requirement and has nothing to do with what Jack means to you, me the party or anybody else. If ethical standards are to be expected there must be a fair examination of ethical behaviour. I dont know if his performance in both positions goes against such requirement but there is no wrong in questioning it. MR. Rowley therefore is sitting on solid ground by asking the question. Not because a government was popularly elected means that that government can do whatever it likes, this is what got Manning in trouble in the first place and people like you were upset about it. If something is unethical and government continues to ignore it, very soon that government will continue to go further and further until it reaches the level of disgust. I know you like them now but there is no telling on how far they will go in such a circumstance.

  • jack warner is atrue trini,he help so many people before election and now being a minister i can only imagine how many things he is going to do.we have yo give him some time to doso much more,but everything takes time.jack warner i love you as a minister also as a fifa vice president,i know you and rudy indarsingh are best for that ministry.i really look forward to meet you two when i come home trinidad soon and imust say keep up the good work

  • Whatever Mr Warner takes on or is assigned to he gets done. That is his track record and all the while being a part of FiFa. The bigger question now is what is the written law on this. It is funny that Mr Rowley had no problem with Jack when Jack was in opposition and helping his constituents and others.

    • keeping it realer

      And we wonder why Manning head had gone….this is the intellect of the electorate in Trinidad. Elevate your polticians to God, they can do no wrong….let’s see how long it takes Jack to realize this

  • Hell yes jack Warner should definitely choose because if it good for one it good for all. He cannot possibly be able to be fully committed to his post as a cabinet Minister when most of the time he would be missing meetings and be out of the country for long extended period of time to attend to his duteies as Vice President of FIFA,come on pple there is node code in parliament jurisdiction that says a Cabinet Minister is allowed to hold two executive positions especially when one requires you to have to be back and fought out of the country all the time. Jack playing the Capital *** of himself and he very well knows that,it is un acceptable. If thats the case then all Ministers should be able to have jobs else where out of the country and always absent from meetings. I agree with Mr Rowley all the way because we are not concerned with what FIFA allows its board members to do,our concern is what A cabinet Minister’s portfolio requires and certainly does not require a member of parliament to be always absent,how the hell would the best possible decisions be made for the benefit of the people of Trinidad &Tobago when this man is going to be absent from meetings and discussions all the time. Jack Warner needs to choose,he cannot have it both ways.

  • If I was choosing between both men as pictured, I would choose Rowley purely on looks. If I was choosing on logic of argument I would choose Rowley’s argument.YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. Also, the fiscal cloud hanging over his head about his FIFA stewardship will not go away. So, he should stem down after having brought the Worls Cup to southern country, led by African people.

    And Ralph, could you stick to the point? Your comment had nothing at all to do with the issue.

    • Linda your diatribe has not changed over the years. How are things in the States? My understand is the African President has given up any hope of solving the problems currently in the Gulf. Is he serving two masters? Big business and Main St???

  • If there is a law that states Cabinet members cannot hold executive positions elsewhere then Jack Warner should choose between his ministerial responsibilities or vice presidency at FIFA.

    If one recalls, immediately after the People’s Partnership won the election Jack Warner was asked how he could serve in Government given his position in FIFA which requires him to travel frequently. Jack Warner “said that he foresees no problems in serving both Fifa and the T&T people, citing that a Fifa vice-president is the minister of Sport in Germany. He however, said that he would resign from some committees at Fifa, in order to cut down his work load.” (insideworldfootball.com)

    Again, if Jack is breaking the law, then he has to choose, if not, then the case has to be about him failing to do his duties (e.g. not attending parliament and not properly meting out his ministerial functions) because of other commitments.

    We do not usually have company executives putting themselves up as ministers. Usually, people who become ministers give up other time consuming jobs that require their full-time presence.

    Rowley stated that if the Integrity Commission finds nothing wrong with Warner he would stand alone in objection. In other words, if the Integrity Commission or any other body does not side with Rowley, he would stand alone in condemnation of Jack? To me, Rowley sounds too arrogant for my liking. He does not stand on any moral high ground for many reasons, some of which I would post later.

  • The answer to this question as to whether Jack has breeched any of our laws, is easy to ascertain in a country that is second perhaps only to the United States in the amount of lawyers it churns out yearly in the faulty educational machinery. Now , in efforts to survive, big brother America, had to change it’s immigration laws to import thousands of so called high technological experts, primarily from Asia , and the Middle East-many with well known , documented ,and skewed political,agendas. Perhaps we might be more fortunate ,as the national pro tribal social purges is allowed to run it’s course unabated.
    Notice a trend as yet folks ? A two bit judge can resign his job on Monday , in efforts to run for office on Tuesday, then on Wednesday become the head of a new government Ministry, to overseer the same man he had a major rift with since said man surpassed him via promotion.
    Legally , this character was in the right, but just like our FIFA , and UNC financial Guru today ,might be in breach of a certain level of moral decency, that more mature democracies tends to be cognizant of. Then hey, “dis is change we can believe in,”ehh?
    While we await a legal brief that can satisfy the Herus and similar apologist of the world , can anyone find the precedent where this was done? A back bencher is expected to still work to put food on his table ,but , you never know in this recently inherited Trini political Hobbesian World that remains “nasty, brutish, and short.”
    Lord how I despise hypocrites! No ,brother Olauda Equano from Nigeria, sorry about your plight ,my dear Guyanese cousin , Nada to my Cuban, and Venezuelan escaping neighbors. I know ,there was some promise long before the election,to sell my citizenship to the highest bidder, but I would prefer to hold on to it, while holding my breath , for four more years, if you choose to purchase it with anything less than Yankee, or EU Dollars.
    Yes you can!

    • I think the real hypocrites here are all those who saw no wrong in Manning’s conduct in government, especially his unrelenting defense of Calder Hart and how the government sought to introduce the increase in Property Tax, among other things, in an attempt to make the population pay more after unscrupulous and unjustifiable spending.

      The conflict of interest Rowley is speaking about has to do with his view that Warner would not be able to commit to his job as a minister while he is a FIFA executive. Until the case can be made that Warner would be derelict in his duties as a minister because of his position in FIFA that argument does not fly.

      Rowley did not see it as unethical or a conflict of interest for his ‘wife’s construction company’ to be collecting materials from the government hospital site in Tobago while Emile Elias’ company was the contractor (the Landate affair). Rowley got off the hook because the Integrity Commission bungled the investigation. When Rowley was confronted about unethical behaviour there, his reply was that they did nothing illegal. But now he wants people to be held to his questionable moral standards and not the law.

      People’s idea about ‘precedence’ sets it upon a pedestal which legitimizes present and future actions. While precedence created in the past can assist in determining the correctness of present action, new and legitimate precedence can also be set even within the bounds of our parliamentary system. If Jack Warner is setting a new precedent then it should be debated and examined in terms of its context and implications. Why can’t Warner set a new precedent?

      But, back to you Neal, I definitely would not be taking moral guidelines from a cyber-bully like you who trolls and flamebates in an attempt to appear intellectual.

  • Rowley is a snake who went into hibernation during the election , waiting to uncoil when Manning was soundly defeated. Lacking the courage to challenge Manning during the election, he remained hidden in the grass, supported by his wajang followers who lashed out savagely and venemously at Manning when he was wounded and reduced to helpless prey.Like a cobra, he placed a stranglehold on the party and forced his rise to the top.He believes that he can successfully slither through the gravel of Landate, drunk with power to capture the golden crown.
    Can this snake who cannot be trusted challenge Jack Warner? Hardly likely!

  • “cyber-bully,” ,trolling, and flame-bating in my quest to appear “intellectual?” To think that I remained engaged via this forum ,simply because of the love of my country, even if half our country from Toco to Icacos, Carapichama all the way across to Charlottesville, are unable to read these musings , as many cannot afford, or gain access to the internet, or even own a computer.
    I was accused of this before, but I still cannot figure out who I would want to impress either domestically ,or internationally, by any attempt to be an intellectual. You are indirectly correct, and there is an end game in mind, but the folks I care about have absolutely no need for intellectuals at this stage of the game.
    No my friend , all they desire is an equitable piece of the socio economic pie , as well as some semblance of social justice that rightfully belongs to them, and of which they were deprived for too long, due in great measure , to the actions of a confused ,often greedy, selfish , and some might say, an insidiously evil people.
    These are crucial times my friend , and since so much is at stake, let’s promise to disagree where it’s appropriate , but remain focus on what is important, the push for the collective well being of our 1.3 million or more sleeping , and often comatose people- if of course, that is their desire, hummm?

  • Khem, diatribe is a loaded word, but you choose it. You cannot compare the President of the United States of America with JAck Warner except that they are both politicians of Africana ncestry. If Mr. Obama had tried to hold on to his Harvard Law Review editorship, while even running for the Senate there would have been a problem. As a Minister of the TnT Cabinet, Mr. Warner may have to vote on allocations for our athletes to participate in international soccer, while he is a member of the baord of the group they will be playing under.So he would be voting money for them to participate in his “Business dealings” I see aconflict there.

    One has to apply intelligence to a situation like this one. We are not Germany, their political tradition has evolved over a longer time along different paths. I have not heard of any scandalous implications against the behaviour of the said German Minister.

  • Bad precedent for good governance
    Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday insisted that Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner’s close ties to FIFA, the world governing body for football, would set a bad precedent for accountability and good governance in the country.

    Jack’s conflict of interest
    ACCORDING to Sir Ellis Clarke, one of the key drafters of our Constitution, a minister holding corporate office while he or she is simultaneously carrying out the functions of minister represents a conflict of interest. In an interview with Newsday, published on May 29, Clarke noted that there is a convention that once a person becomes a minister of Government, that person gives up their private job. “It’s not written into the Constitution,” he said. “But (to keep the job) would be a conflict of interest.”

    ***

    Jack’s position more a moral requirement

    Published: Guardian – 6 Jun 2010

    The issue of whether Transport Minister Jack Warner should choose to vacate his Fifa Vice-President post is more of a moral matter than a constitutional requirement. Senior Counsel and constitutional expert Dana Seetahal was giving her views on Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley’s plans to write the Integrity Commission to find out if it was proper for Warner to serve as a minister while remaining as Fifa’s Vice-President. Drawing on her expertise, Seetahal, in an IETV report last night, said nowhere in the law books states or even suggests that a Cabinet minister cannot hold another position.

    “The constitution has nothing about that. The constitution makes provision for people who are disqualified from sittings, and it has to do with things like if you are bankrupt, if your are not a citizen, if you have convictions. “It says nothing about a minister not holding a portfolio of that nature.” Seetahal, however, noted that there was an underline that ministers ought to act with integrity and not affect it with a conflict of interest.

    She said a conflict of interest might arise to juggle both portfolios, noting that some of the international portfolios and committees on which Warner sat were voluntary positions, and made his situation less objectionable. “I can see a possible situation arising with commitments, and he would have to work that out.” Seetahal said it was undeniable that Warner’s record spoke for itself.

    http://guardian.co.tt/news/politics

  • “Rowley said he was about to write a letter to the Integrity Commission ‘for an opinion on whether it was proper for a minister of government to hold office in any organisation, especially a fee-paying office outside of the Cabinet.’ He said: ‘As far a I am concerned, Mr Warner has to choose to be (either) a Fifa executive or a minister of government in Trinidad and Tobago…He cannot be both!’ Rowley said he had ‘some serious concerns’ about the matter because a T&T Government minister is a full-time job.” (Fifa or T&T Cabinet! Trinidad Guardian: June 05, 2010)

    If the issue is about Jack Warner not having the time to dedicate to his government functions then that is left to be proven. Jack said he would give up being on some of FIFA’s committees if necessary. Dr. Rowley mentioned his concern “especially [with] a fee-paying office outside of Cabinet” in relation to Jack’s position at FIFA. Jack responded by saying he is not paid as a FIFA executive.

    However, I am not convinced that the issue is solely about Jack’s ability to manage his time. Andre Bagoo raises some concerns which I will address. He stated:

    “It is a question of whether it is appropriate for a minister to sit in Cabinet while he is beholden to a corporate entity. On a basic level, football in Trinidad and Tobago is going to be relevant to several ministries in the Cabinet and to several of Warner’s colleagues. While there may appear to be no direct conflict in terms of Warner’s portfolio (Works and Transport) that is no reassurance that Warner does not and will not, as a member of the Government, exert influence throughout all levels of the Government. Even if he did not, his mere presence on the Cabinet, a body that will adjudicate matters which may be of interest to FIFA, appears to undermine confidence in the ethical standards of governance.” (Jack’s conflict of interest Newsday: June 06, 2010)

    Most people in Trinidad and Tobago are divided on this issue along political lines. But, if people would examine the issue of ‘conflict of interest’ dispassionately they would see that this has never been properly addressed and should be managed differently. Calling on Jack Warner to choose between his FIFA executive position and his ministerial post does not adequately address legitimate concerns. If Jack was to resign from the Cabinet people would still accuse him of influencing the government given that he is the Chairman of UNC and in the perception of many, the main financier of the party. Additionally, Jack could simply resign from FIFA on paper and regain his title if and whenever he leaves active politics, like so many others do here. In other words, even if Jack Warner resigns from FIFA there is no guarantee that he would not be loyal to the organization. But some people are giving the impression that his resignation would satisfy their concerns of there being no conflict of interest.

    We have had several past government ministers who had relationships with companies under their wife’s and other family members’ names and as soon as they left office they reverted to their former business positions. Simply giving up positions does not mean that those ministers were totally above board and there was no conflict of interest in their dealings.

    Besides Keith Rowley, whose wife heads a construction company that came into conflict with the hospital project in Tobago (See: Sprawling Landate Villa nears completion), we have others.

    What about PNM’s former Health Minister John Rahael whose family business involved importing drugs (medical drugs)? His family is also among some of the biggest financiers of the PNM. They also developed the Super-Pharm chain of drug stores (a small part of the family’s business empire) while he was the Minister of Health. Rowley had a recent meeting with them which, according to the media, was about them endorsing him as leader of the PNM.

    Then there is the recent PNM Minister of health Jerry Narace whose wife’s insurance company ‘Trinre’ just happen to be handling a number of government insurances. That company grew astronomically in just a few years. (See: Narace family’s $100M contracts)

    Then we have the former PNM Minister of Sports Roger Boynes, whose family owns the Salybia Nature Resort that just happened to be the resort of choice for PNM ministers’ retreats. (See: $1M bill for PM’s retreat)

    These are just a few cases of PNM ministers simply placing ownership of companies in the names of family members while their businesses appeared to profit from their party and political appointments.

    In this small country it is easy to find connections between politicians and business interests and there should be a way to scrutinize and manage these relationships. Transparency is the key.

    It is expected that some people would prosper in business and may want to serve in government. Should government only be reserved for persons who are void of business or other professional interests? Are these veiled separations of interests sufficient to satisfy us that there are no conflicts of interests? Or is the veiling of these interests in itself another level of corruption to deceive the public? Because most political investors remain outside of government appointments are these investors not having their business interests satisfied?

    In my view, it is better we know these involvements upfront so we can scrutinize how the government operates in relation to these interest groups to ensure fair bidding etc., and that officials do not abuse their political positions or connections. There should be proper oversight to ensure that there is no corruption including profiteering from these business and government relationships.

    HERU

  • In the lead up to her revolution, an enamored supporter said :- “Kamla Persad-Bissesar is on a mission for change, and change for the better …… . She’s always had the best intentions in mind, and she knows how to execute them to put change in action…..
    She’s the best person for the position, and …. we hope that you too have seen the positive changes that have come about during her reign, so we can all join together to see a great leader come to office.”

    http://www.westindiesforum.com/index.php?page=3
    “This is change we can believe in.”

    On the verge of her history making forays she said the following:-“And so we start making history today. We start believing today. 
……Is there really change in the air?
Will it be different this time?
Will we move forward united…will we walk this historic road together?
I can tell you tonight – the answer is yes.
We move forward as singular, unstoppable, unwavering force for change.
History is already happening…Change is already happening.
    But history must be earned.”
    http://www.movementforchangett.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1328:speech-of-hon-kamla-persad-bissessar-at-the-political-meeting-of-the-unc&catid=36:speeches&Itemid=75

    May 24th was the day, and now it’s time to start to deliver Madame PM. Unless we plan to go into electioneering mood for the next four years, then save us the same old bellyaching dear UNC /PPP, and fans. Put the AG , DPP, Minister of Justice, National Security, and Commissioner of Police overlapping , confused machinery into gear ,and start to arrest people left , right and center in the PNM one time government. Just make sure we hear of a simultaneous commencement of a trial for Basdeo Panday your mentor , as we are observing.
    “That’s change we can believe in!”
    This distraction matter , is a dead issue , as far as I am concern. If Mr. Jack Warner our Minister of Works thinks he has the abilities to juggle several tasks, kudos to him. I for one would never underestimate the man’s capabilities, and do not find it healthy at this early stage attacking him , without a scintilla of evidence that he is a crook , hell bent on abusing his power.
    All I am concern about is his stewardship as a politician , and wish him well.If I can trust closet racist Goopesing with my kids welfare in his new portfolio , and can accept that our new AG , and Minister to be objective ,when it comes to equal rights, and national justice, then I can be expected to believe in Uncle Jack.
    Again fans , please do not insult our intelligence with the childish cries , about “in the past,dey were crooks ,and bandits , and so we could be allowed to do the same too,” as this is not only insulting to our intelligence, but beyond pathetic , when an old schooled ,elitist leader ,placed her credibility on the line ,by successfully parroting a change mantra, and came out looking like a shining rose .
    Long live our democracy, and the people of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
    Nuff said.

    • “then save us the same old bellyaching dear UNC /PPP, and fans.”

      Where is the bellyaching on this blog from UNC or PP members or fans? Who are the fans you are talking about?

      Again fans , please do not insult our intelligence with the childish cries , about “in the past,dey were crooks ,and bandits , and so we could be allowed to do the same too,” as this is not only insulting to our intelligence, but beyond pathetic , when an old schooled ,elitist leader ,placed her credibility on the line ,by successfully parroting a change mantra, and came out looking like a shining rose.

      Again, who are you addressing as fans? Why the ongoing condescension?

      Which comment on this thread “insult[s] our intelligence with the childish cries , about ‘in the past,dey were crooks ,and bandits , and so we could be allowed to do the same too,'”?

      Point out the post/s on this thread or blog that gives credence to the aforementioned quote.

      • Short and to the point……….Rowley main purpose is to go after the Chief Architect of the colation victory!!

  • Wait and you will see every misstep by the T&T equivalent of the Guyana PPP will result in those who now there is an Indian Leader in charge, want us to forget about their visceral expressions of hate during the period a black man was the leader. The triumphalistic revisionism has already begun. A politician who was in the UNC when Panday was pushing a Hindutava agenda, and who went along with that form of Governance, we are now being told will save T&T for everyone including black people. Yeah, and I own the Brooklyn Bridge

  • In essence , Heru, you ain’t have ‘no cocoa in the de sun,’ when it comes to this score , correct? Good for you , and if the cap doesn’t fit,’ we’ll not only acquit, but put in more common parlance ,won’t ‘pull the string,’ my friend.
    To those where these accusations, are applicable, rest assured, they would respond in kind, at the appropriate time. We should avoid falling into these and similar ‘distracting ,beat up day traps,’ that the conniving modern day neo colonials ,like to lay, because they think that folks of a certain hue, are best suited to only go after each other with ‘cyber machetes,’ while the more culturally refined, can allegedly resort to tamer discussions,as they eagerly mimic Eurocentric idols. In ending, let me reiterate, best wishes to my minister of Works , Uncle Jack. If anyone can pull it off , he can. What that he said, “anytime you see I get more than two hours of sleep, call the mortuary?” Strong as a Caroni Water buffalo ,I saw the smile on Madame Jacks face recently, and I am almost certain,that it was not only because she is entitled to special front box seats in the upcoming SA World Cup – devoid of a Caribbean team.
    The guy is a good role model for our kids on questions of resiliency, organizational abilities ,and political far sightedness.See how grateful Madame K, and crew is ,a la May 25th? If Uncle Jack demands an office in the Prime Minister new billion dollar mansion, it’s his for the taking, yes?
    Without him, Manning would be today extending his Guanapo spiritual temple today , and drinking Maple Syrup ,with Canadian Hart, the foreign crook.
    Love Country.

  • ‘He’ll do the right thing’
    Kamla: Warner matter will be dealt with
    Before stepping into the tray of a van to begin a motorcade through her constituency yesterday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she would give ‘active consideration’ to concerns raised against Minister of Works and Transport Jack Warner.

    Kamla backs Warner
    Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday expressed confidence in her Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner who has been the target of new Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley over his tenure as a Cabinet member and also as FIFA vice president.

    Time for thought and enquiry
    Whatever the outcome of the enquiry called for by the new Leader of the Opposition, concerning what he contends may be a conflict of interest involving Jack Warner, the matter will be a useful one for national discussion.

  • Jack was here, Jack was there, Jack was everywhere, before, during and after the elections. Jack was the puppet master, once part of Ramjack, then Kamjack, maker and breaker of political careers. Jack was the sneering face of the PP during the campaign, while Kamla stayed above the fray. Jack who used every nasty political trick in the book courtesy him American advisors. His chickens have now come home to roost.

  • keeping it realer

    “The integrity commission has stated that Cabinet Ministers must divest themselves of private interests upon taking up their post.”

    I guess the integrity commission is “PNM til I die!”

  • Statement released by the Integrity Commission

    Thursday, June 10th 2010

    Following is the statement released by the Integrity Commission on the issue of Jack Warner holding positions in both Government and FIFA.

    The question whether Mr Austin Jack Warner should properly be a member of the Cabinet of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago while continuing to serve as vice-president of FIFA is actively in the public sphere and has been brought to the attention of the Integrity Commission.

    The Integrity Commission is responsible, inter alia, for the regulation of the conduct of persons exercising public functions, and, for preserving and promoting the integrity of public officials and institutions.

    The commission, in effecting this responsibility, is guided by the application of the Code of Conduct as specified in the Integrity in Public Life Act governing persons in public life which reads as follows:

    CODE OF CONDUCT

    23. This Part applies to a person in public life and to all persons exercising public functions.

    24. (1) A person to whom this Part applies shall ensure that he performs his functions and administers the public resources for which he is responsible in an effective and efficient manner and shall-

    (a) be fair and impartial in exercising his public duty;

    (b) afford no undue preferential treatment to any group or individual;

    (c) arrange his private interests whether pecuniary or otherwise in such a manner as to maintain public confidence and trust in his integrity.

    (2) A person to whom this Part applies shall not-

    (a) use his office for the improper advancement of his own or his family’s personal or financial interests or the interest of any person;

    (b) engage in any transaction, acquire any position or have any commercial or other interest that is incompatible with his office, function and duty or the discharge thereof;

    (c) use public property or services for activities not related to his official work;

    (d) directly or indirectly use his office for private gain.

    (3) No person to whom this Part applies shall be a party to or shall undertake any project or activity involving the use of public funds in disregard of the Financial Orders or other Regulations applicable to such funds.

    25. A person to whom this Part applies shall not use information that is gained in the execution of his office and which is not available to the general public to further or seek to further his private interests.

    26. A person to whom this Part applies shall not use his office to seek to influence a decision made by another person or public body to further his own private interests.

    27. (1) A person to whom this Part applies shall not accept a fee, gift or personal benefit, except compensation authorised by law, that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of the duties of his office

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a gift or personal benefit that is received as an incident of the protocol or social obligations that normally accompany the responsibilities of office.

    (3) Where a gift or personal benefit referred to in subsection (2) exceeds five thousand dollars in value or where the total value received directly or indirectly from one source in any twelve-month period exceeds five thousand dollars, a person in public life shall file with his declaration, a statement indicating the nature of the gift or benefit, its source and the circumstances under which it was given or accepted.

    (4) For the purposes of this section, the amount of a gift comprising property, other than money, shall be deemed to be an amount equal to the value of the property.

    28. Matters of a confidential nature in the possession of persons to whom this Part applies, shall be kept confidential unless the performance of duty or the needs of justice strictly require otherwise, and shall remain confidential even after separation from service.

    29. (1) For the purposes of this Act, a conflict of interest is deemed to arise if a person in public life or any person exercising a public function were to make or participate in the making of a decision in the execution of his office and at the same time knows or ought reasonably to have known, that in the making of the decision, there is an opportunity either directly or indirectly to further his private interests or that of a member of his family or any other person.

    (2) Where there is a possible or perceived conflict of interest, a person to whom this Part applies, shall disclose his interest in accordance with prescribed procedures and disqualify himself from any decision-making process.

    This Code is further buttressed by the Code of Ethics for Parliamentarians, including Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, as approved by Resolution of the House of Representatives on 15th July, 1988.

    This Code requires that Cabinet ministers divest themselves of their private interests upon their assumption of public office.

    The Commission is of the view that all persons in public life who offer themselves for Cabinet posts, should so organise their affairs in order that there be no breach of the aforementioned Code of Conduct or the Code of Ethics.

    …Jack responds

    Dr Rowley’s problem route
    It is early days yet, but newly appointed Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley will need to work harder to persuade citizens he’s making the damaged People’s National Movement (PNM) ship seaworthy again, to use nautical imagery he himself had introduced during the campaign.

    Make a choice, Jack
    Jack Warner must make a choice between keeping his position as a Fifa vice-president, or serving as Trinidad and Tobago’s Works and Transport Minister.

    Integrity Commission says ministers must divest private interests
    The Integrity Commission says it could give no ruling on the matter of Works Minister Jack Warner also holding the post of FIFA vice-president, but noted yesterday Cabinet ministers must divest their private interests.

    …Jack and the code

    ‘Conflict of interest must be proven’
    Former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas says it must be proven that there exists a conflict of interest with Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner continuing to perform the duties as Fifa vice-president.

    Time to talk
    In response to intense debate over the possible conflict inherent in his wearing two executive hats — FIFA VP and TT Minister — Jack Warner, the ‘maverick’ at the eye of the latest political storm, had this to say, “I am listening to all said.”

  • While I think that a case could be made for Jack Warner to retain both positions, I strongly disagree with the editorial in Today’s Express “Dr Rowley’s problem route” that is more or less condemning Dr. Rowley for doing his job as an Opposition Leader.

    I already wrote why I think Dr. Rowley has not demonstrated superior integrity to anyone else but this does not mean he is not right to challenge Jack Warner’s position and that of the Prime Minister. He has to do his work as Opposition Leader while he works to attain the leadership of the PNM and to build the party.

    Many people cannot find a logical argument for the positions they wish to take and unfortunately this leaves people on all sides being extreme in their support or condemnation of the positions of this government.

  • ROWLEY IS A BIG TROUBLE MAKER

    LEAVE JACK ALONE THE MAN DOES HIS JOB HE IS A GOOD MAN.
    I SUPPORT JACK
    SO WHAT IF HE HOLDS 2 JOBS ROWLEY IS TRYING TO CREATE A PROBLEM
    ROWLEY IS A PROBLEM HIMSELF, THE 2 FAT SLUM HE CHOOSE WILL KICK HIM OUT
    OF LEADERSHIP.

  • A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties as, say, a public official, an employee, or a professional.”
    (Journal of Business ethics)

    A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other. (Wikipedia)

    A situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person’s self-interest and professional-interest or public-interest. (online dictionary)

    I’m not an expert in law or politics (my field is geared more towards medical sciences) but looking at the three definitions for “conflict of interest” above, the question in Mr. Warner’s situation seems to be: can his personal interest (FIFA executive) influence or corrupt his duties as a Minister of Works and Transport? I would say no, since both portfolios are unrelated to each other. But that’s just my opinion. From what I’ve read though Ms. Dana Seetahal stated that “nowhere in the constitution states or even suggests that a Cabinet minister cannot hold another position”. That’s why I think the Integrity Commission could not give a direct ruling in this matter but could only state that “Cabinet Ministers must divest their private interests”. It seems very contradictory. How do you prove it’s a conflict of interest?

    I think this situation is a bit sophisticated but very interesting and I dont think everyone should be spewing hate to Mr. Rowley for bringing the matter to the forefront although it does seem very hypocritical of him to see conflict of interest now. When Mr. Manning appointed his wife as a Cabinet Minister, he should have spoken about it then. That was a clear case of nepotism, which itself is a conflict of interest. I think now is the time for this to be corrected and make amends in the constitution.

    I really wish Mr Warner could do both though. I think he could manage both. He is a multitasker and seems very efficient at it. It would be a great loss to our country if Mr. Warner gave up FIFA or his ministerial position. Either way I think we lose. He is a people’s person and I’m not just saying that for the politics, but I know about his contributions even before he entered politics. He has helped many people in their hour of need and continues to do so. He played a crucial role in getting our Soca Warriors to Germany and has contributed immensely to the development of sports and youth in our country. I heard he once mortgaged his Arouca home for $30,000 to bail out the former cash-strapped TTFA. Many people probably didnt even know that when Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam was desperately seeking a sponsor for the trip to the international pageant in Hawaii, Warner quietly bought her a first class ticket. He is never afraid to dig into his own pocket to help people and that’s why I also believe he got so many votes. Anyway, I guess we should just wait and see what really unfolds in this situation. May the best decision win!

  • Have we forgotten November 11th 1989 and the widely held perception of whose interest it was for the USA to qualify over the Soca Warriors? Come on Mr Warner, do the right thing, nah.

  • Jack Warner: Not In a Corner

    Jack Warner should not have to choose between being a Cabinet Minister and his posts in FIFA according to Dana Seetahal, S.C. and President of the Law Association Martin Daly, S.C.

    Dana Seetahal and Martin Daly stated that Jack Warner is not in breach of any code of ethics in the country. There appears to be no conflict of interest in Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner holding on to his FIFA vice-presidency post and other positions in CONCACAF.

  • AG calls in top legal minds
    GOVERNMENT will seek the advice of three eminent legal counsels to determine whether Jack Warner should simultaneously hold the posts of Minister of Works and Transport and FIFA vice-president, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan announced yesterday, on the eve of today’s opening of the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa which Warner is currently attending.

    AG Seeks Foreign Help
    Ramlogan seeks legal advice on Jack from English QC, Senior Counsel

    Ramlogan seeks expert advice on Warner issue
    The controversy over Jack Warner serving as Cabinet Minister while employed as vice president of world football governing body, Fifa, is not a simple matter, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says.

    Daly: AG made wise decision
    President of the Law Association, Martin Daly, says the Attorney General’s decision to employ independent counsel to look into Warner’s position at FIFA was wise considering that the Code of Ethics for parliamentarians does not call on ministers to ‘divest themselves of their private interest’.

    Pontius Pilate on Warner
    It is unfortunate that the Integrity Commission in its ruling on the request by Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley, for it to determine whether Minister of Works and Transport, Jack Warner, was in breach of the Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians has not made a clear and unambiguous decision.

    Rowley: Fight with Jack not personal
    Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says his fight with Works and Transport Minister Austin “Jack” Warner is not personal. “It is the principle of a minister of government not sticking to the Code of Ethics of the Parliament and confining activities to full-time duties for the people of T&T,” Rowley said.

    Warner should choose between his posts, says Ryan
    JACK Warner should choose between his posts as Works and Transport Minister and FIFA vice president on the issue of principle, says political scientist Professor Selwyn Ryan.

    O’Connor: No benefit in removing Warner
    Newspaper columnist Peter O’Connor says there is no “real benefit” in seeking to remove Fifa vice president Austin Jack Warner from his position or as Minister of Works in the People’s Partnership. He made this comment yesterday at a symposium on the 2010 general election in T&T: Analysis and aftermath. It was hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis’ Institute of Social and Economic Studies, at UWI, St Augustine. O’Connor said: “If there is no real benefit in removing Jack Warner why do it? The whole Caribbean will recoil in horror if he gives up Fifa.”

    ITEC questions Integrity’s agenda
    Chairman of the Indo Trinbago Equality Council (ITEC) Devant Maharaj is questioning the “process and agenda” of the Integrity Commission. Maharaj said that was based on the commission’s “alacrity” in arriving at a decision regarding Jack Warner’s decision to hold ministerial office while serving at the same time as Fifa vice president.

    AG: Reopen Landate probe
    Reopen Landate is the call from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday. Speaking during the weekly post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Ramlogan said the entire matter involving the probe must be clarified in the public interest. Landate was a private housing development project at Mason Hall, Tobago.

  • I have noticed that Dana and Martin said that Jack did not commit any act of conflict of interest and they are correct. Mr. Rowley would agree with that too but could they say with all certainty that the potential for conflict of interest is not there? I think not. And this is they argument. Not because the cat did not go after the rat means the rat is always safe from being eaten. The ‘potential’ is what we must examine and give credence to, it is NOT who Jack is or the importance of his stewardship. There is no doubt that he has performed incredibly well in public service and it will be good to have him in public service but we must at least seem to have the proper principles when making appointments. It does no good for public confidence when men and women of standing in the community give conflicting reasoning on such important matters. There should be NO cloudiness in terms of what we should expect from the administration it should be clear cut.

  • I have been listening to several radio stations to hear how they discuss (if you could call it that) this issue. All PNM spokespeople took a line from Dr. Rowley and praised Jack in the preamble to their commentaries that called for him to choose.

    They mostly said that they love Jack Warner; they find he would make an excellent Minister of Works and they would have liked him to retain both positions. However, after the initial praise, they stated that he has to choose.

    While I believe some PNM people are genuine with these sentimental praises of Jack Warner, I am convinced that most are being facetious and disingenuous. They have mostly taken this line from Dr. Rowley in trying to appear not to be specifically targeting Jack Warner.

    The funny thing is that during the Election campaign some of these same people had some of the nastiest and untrue things to say about Jack in their attempt to demonize him.

    I listened to a radio talk-show yesterday where some of this disingenuousness was confirmed. A host and callers on a very pro-PNM radio station who were in the frontline on the attacks on Jack Warner but have recently been claiming to love him, gave away their real feelings on this issue. After being misled by yesterday’s media reports that misinterpreted the Integrity Commission’s statement to mean that Jack Warner has to choose, in a celebratory manner, they went on about how they would only feel good when Jack has to lose one of his positions. They were particularly elated for the first time since the election. Their depressed feelings about the PNM defeat at the polls have them wanting to see the downfall of Jack Warner for them to celebrate a victory.

    If Jack Warner position is proven to be correct, after the jurists give their opinion, many PNM supporters would enter another round of depression. Their misdirected anger and disingenuousness would trap them again.

  • A lot of PNM supporters are now finding their tongue on morality and ethics. During the last 8 years, they did not see anything immoral and unethical about Manning appointing his wife in cabinet positions, Marlene giving party hacks preference in bursaries – even a PNM loser in the 2010 elections, PNM friends and councillors and wife of mayor given several CEPEP contacts, shameless rush to build and distribute houses to their supporters- the list can fill many pages.
    Now Keith Rowley is targeting Jack Warner. It is refreshing to hear AG Ramlogan say that the Landate Affair is not dead. It was dismissed because of a technicality but has enough material to be brought back. It does not need the review of the PNM jokers on the (Dis)Integrity Commission.

    How sincere is St. Cyr and the ex-magistrate who collected money for dead husband as her chauffeur for a long time? One for the Guinness Book of Records.

  • Tch! Tch! Tch! Should an Integrity Commission not itself have integrity? Firstly, lack of understanding of the plain statement of law constitutes incompetence. Secondly, jumping the gun to impune one’s integrity without factual basis in this case, while failing to act over the many years of Manning’s clear and direct conflicts of interest speak to obvious unfair bias on the part of this Commission which must therefore be dismantled and replaced with persons who have intergrity to serve this fledgling reborn nation. If it were up to me, I would charge them with public mischief!

  • Commission not always right
    MINISTER of Works and Transport Jack Warner, speaking yesterday from South Africa where he attended the opening ceremony of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Finals, in his capacity as FIFA vice-president, commended Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for seeking legal advice on his tenure both as a Cabinet member and FIFA executive.

    “I think the Integrity Commission has been wrong before and I commend the AG for his decision to seek advice. I have no problem with that and Opposition Leader Keith Rowley is also aware that the Integrity Commission is not always right,” Warner said in a telephone interview from Johannesburg yesterday.

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