Anil stands with Jack

“We wait with bated breath for the outcome of the investigation, and I think that it will be premature to cast any aspersions on Minister Warner at this time,” Roberts told Newsday yesterday.

The COP, through its chairman Joseph Toney, issued a statement over the weekend and again yesterday stating that Warner should relinquish his position in Government for the duration of the FIFA probe. The FIFA Ethics Committee on Sunday suspended Warner for a month during the investigation.

In the COP statement, Toney noted that “a critical aspect of good governance is the maintenance of standards of ethics and integrity among those entrusted with high public office.”

Toney, a former national security minister said, “Given the nature of the allegations and the decision of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, we expect that the minister will do the right thing and step aside pending the completion of those investigations.”

Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar yesterday said he agreed Warner should step aside and endorsed the COP’s position. Ramadhar and Roberts are contesting the COP party leadership election.

In response, Roberts yesterday said he opposes the COP’s view and backs Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who has said she would not prejudge the allegations against Warner and stood by him. Warner is chairman of the UNC and his party has spoken out in favour of him. Roberts said Toney has been “fancy free and loose” with his statements which Roberts said were not in keeping with the principles of new politics as espoused by Winston Dookeran, the outgoing political leader of the COP.

He added that Toney should understand that the COP is part of the People’s Partnership Government, and should practice collective responsibility.

He also feels that everyone should await the outcome of the findings of the Ethics Committee before making any pronouncement on Warner.

Addressing comparisons to the Government’s position on Warner and the dismissal of Mary King as planning minister over the award of a ministry contract to a firm in which she and her husband are shareholders, Roberts said in King’s case she confirmed the family connection to the winning company.

Warner, however, has denied outright all allegations against him.


"Anil stands with Jack"

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