Kamla wants a response from PM on crime talks, not AG

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Kamla wants a response from PM on crime talks, not AG

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has not replied to Attorney General Reginald Armour, who wrote to her last Friday seeking the names of the members of her team for the upcoming crime talks.

Armour asked that she respond by Thursday 9th November.

However, in a GML interview, Persad-Bissessar said she is awaiting Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s official response to her October 14 letter on the crime talks between the Government and Opposition.

According to her: “The Attorney General acted out of turn as the Prime Minister has not officially responded on the pertinent issues raised in my October 14 letter.”

At a recent Whitehall media briefing, Rowley said arrangements had been put in place for the talks and Government’s four member team had been identified. He suggested that the AG be the chairman of the two groups

Subsequently, Armour wrote to Persad-Bissessar asking about the composition of the Opposition team for the talks. Armour said he was writing further to the PM’s October 12 correspondence to Persad-Bissessar in which he outlined the composition of Government’s team which comprises Ministers Fitzgerald Hinds (National Security), Stuart Young (Energy), Marvin Gonzales (Public Utilities), Randall Mitchell (Tourism).

Persad-Bissessar said: “I am still awaiting a response from the Prime Minister to my letter of October 14 when I requested clarification on a number of issues.

“I will await the Prime Minister’s official reply. If he doesn’t reply it will simply indicate that he is not interested in the anti-crime talks and it was just another PR stunt as was the Roadmap to Recovery and the symposium on crime as a public health emergency earlier this year.”

“And again I call for the inclusion of any willing stakeholders and for topics other than legislation to be added to the agenda. We already meet at Parliament for legislative discussions in the Joint Select Committee meetings, therefore there’s no need to discuss legislation alone at anti-crime discussions.”

Persad-Bissessar is seeking clarification on a number of issues, among them: Confirmation that Rowley will attend and lead the Government’s team in his position as Head of Government and Chairman of the National Security Council; Whether he had rescinded his September 16 statement that there be four members each from the Government and Opposition since his subsequent letter proposed five Government and four Opposition representatives; The basis for excluding stakeholder contributions from these initial discussions and Government’s desire for veto power over selecting contributors, experts, and stakeholders.