Opposition Chief Whip MP David Lee says the joke is on Finance Minister Colm Imbert, as a motion has already been filed in the Parliament forcing a debate on the contents of the presentation made by the Prime Minister in his two-part address to the nation entitled “Mind Your Business”.
Imbert described the Opposition Leader’s call for a debate on the economy with the Prime Minister as a “joke” on CNC3’s Morning Brew programme on Thursday 10th January.
He further charged that Mrs Persad-Bissessar would never accept the challenge to debate. MP Lee reminded Imbert that the challenge was in fact thrown out by the Leader of the Opposition and not anyone from the Government. He noted that Mrs Persad-Bissessar has stated that she is ready to debate the Prime Minister at any time, any place and on any topic.
The Opposition Chief Whip added that since the challenge was thrown out, the Prime Minister has failed to respond, and this reflects his cowardice. “Instead, the Prime Minister chooses to hide behind distorted graphs and unsubstantiated projections in his continued effort to continue his party’s general election campaign of 2015,” the Point-a-Pierre MP noted.
“The Prime Minister should not send political henchmen to do his job, he should fight his own battles,” the Opposition Chief Whip said. “If Rowley is confident in the accuracy of the information which he has placed in the public domain, he should have no problem defending it.”
“The Prime Minister clearly has no intention of opening himself up to accountability because various sectors of the society fact-checked the data he presented and proved it to be untrue,” he added.
MP Lee stated that the Opposition Leader wrote to the Clerk of the House on Tuesday giving notice of the motion for debate on the Prime Minister’s two-part address. He said the decision was taken after Dr Rowley did not respond to the Opposition Leader’s challenge for a public debate.
“The Prime Minister should be reminded that the Parliament is the highest public forum in the land and the Opposition Leader would draw him into the political gayelle in the Chamber of the House of Representatives on this matter”, MP Lee said. “In the House of Representatives when the debate arises, the Prime Minister could run, but he cannot hide, and eventually, he would have to stand up and face the people.”