In a press release, TTTI chairman Victor Hart warned about the PNM’s dismissal of the issues now raised by the emergence of a series of correspondence obtained by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Saturday.
“The accusations made by the Coalition against the Prime Minister and (former Udecott executive chairman) Mr Calder Hart are very serious,” Hart noted yesterday.
“TTTI would not like to see the accusations simply dismissed by the PNM as political ‘dirty tricks’ because an election campaign is in progress.
“In the interest of transparency, the Prime Minister, who is seeking a renewed mandate from the electorate, owes it to voters to respond fully to the charges and to make clear his position in the matter,” he said. “In the interest of accountability and given the seriousness of the accusations, the matter requires investigation by the competent authorities to clear the Prime Minister’s and Mr Calder Hart’s name, if the claims are untrue, or to hold them accountable if it is found that there is a case to be answered.
“Trinidad and Tobago must foster a tradition of transparency and accountability by persons in public life, therefore, this serious matter should not be allowed to be casually dismissed and/or swept under the carpet as has happened so often in the past,” he said.
The documents released, including letters and plans, arguably link Calder Hart and Manning to the construction of the church in Guanapo. In a press release issued by the PNM public relations officer Jerry Narace on Saturday, the party failed to deny that Manning had any links to the project. Instead, it dismissed the allegations as “dirty tricks”.