Rowley: Section 34 still alive

Rowley said the People’s National Movement (PNM) will continue to aggressively “seek the facts surrounding who did what, when where and how” with respect to Section 34.

Reiterating the Round Table’s concerns about the role played by Attorney General (AG) Anand Ramlogan in the Section 34 issue, Rowley claimed Ramlogan is unsuitable to represent the State in any appeal of yesterday’s matter which could go before the Privy Council.

“Therefore we once again call for the removal of the AG from office,” he declared.

Addressing a news conference at Port-of-Spain City Hall shortly after the ruling was made, Rowley said he has not yet read the judgement but was advised that “the court has ruled that the repeal of Section 34 by the Parliament has been deemed to be upheld.”

However he said, “the bigger issue of the behaviour of the Cabinet in creating the law, establishing Section 34 in the law, selectively pulling out Section 34 and causing the pulling out of Section 34 to be proclaimed and create benefits for selected persons”, remains unresolved.

Reminding reporters that a complaint “of criminal conspiracy by elements of the Cabinet” in this matter “is still alive before the Office of the President,” Rowley stated: “None of that is influenced by today’s development.”

“It is our intention to take up issue with the conduct of specific members of the Cabinet who have been involved in the conspiracy to create and use Section 34 in the way it has done to the aggravation of the national population,” he declared.

Saying the perpetrators and “the nature of the conspiracy” still need to be identified, Rowley said: “We still need to hold people accountable to the heinous act which is in itself the use of Section 34 to benefit persons who otherwise would have had to face the court in a particular way.”

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah endorsed Rowley’s views, adding that the Round Table “will continue with our programme of public education and mobilisation” regarding Section 34. Abdulah said the Round Table praised President Anthony Carmona for indicating in his inaugural address on March 18 that he has power under Section 81 of the Constitution.

“Having regard to the fact that the Office of the President is a continuum, we expect that the current President will continue to pursue this matter diligently in the interest of the people of TT,” Abdulah said.

Rowley wrote a letter to former President George Maxwell Richards on November 20, 2012 asking him to use his powers under Section 81 to seek information from Persad-Bissessar about the Section 34 issue.

Richards subsequently indicated that he wrote to Persad-Bissessar. The Prime Minister later indicated she responded to Richards but did not reveal what information she provided to Richards in her letter to him.


"Rowley: Section 34 still alive"

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