Take politics out of COVID-19 fight: Trinidad’s PM questions sincerity of Opposition Leader

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Monday said he had no intention of participating in any “political grandstanding” after Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar sought to have a bi-partisan approach to the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Trinidad’s PM Dr Keith Rowley

Rowley, speaking at a news conference at the end of a special cabinet meeting to discuss the virus that has killed thousands worldwide, said that while he had not yet received the letter from the Opposition Leader seeking a meeting on the matter, he is also questioning her sincerity.

“I am not prepared to take part in any political grandstanding.”

— Rowley

Rowley sarcastically asked reporters whether the Persad Bissessar being referred to “is the same one that voted in the Parliament (last Friday) that I shouldn’t speak to the nation on the coronavirus.”

Making some progress

Rowley said that the opposition, led by the former prime minister, voted against him speaking to the nation on COVID-19 and was now seeking a bi-partisan meeting to discuss the virus.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

“I am not prepared to take part in any political grandstanding. Right now, I have a serious headache. I am prepared to work with every and anybody in this country who is prepared to act in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said, insisting that as prime minister he is prepared to work with everyone.

“In fact, I am opening my hands to the rest of the country and I said…we are in this thing together …and come out together. In the case of the Opposition Leader who makes a career of irresponsibility and undermining this country’s efforts at every turn, if she is prepared now to be responsible and to work with the people of Trinidad and Tobago, then I say we are making some progress,” he said.