Barry Padarath

Princes Town candidate Barry Padarath

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he is not prepared to expose the People’s National Movement (PNM) to high legal costs in contesting the validity of the nomination papers of Princes Town MP Barry Padarath.

Instead, Rowley said legal advice obtained by the PNM will be given to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), which can then provide it to its own lawyers and decide on its position.

Rowley said he will also advise President Paula-Mae Weekes on the matter.

He said the law must be settled as to whether a Member of Parliament is sitting there while having not been properly nominated.

In an immediate response yesterday, Padarath told the Express he was ready for court.

“Bring it on! If his lawyers said he has a good case and he is so disturbed, then take it to court or shut up. As they say—put up or shut up,” he said via WhatsApp.

Speaking at a news conference at Balisier House in Port of Spain yesterday, Rowley said he sought and obtained “very solid” legal advice from two eminent senior counsel.

He said their advice confirmed that Padarath’s nomination as prepared “does not meet the requirements of the law and is wholly invalid”.

“I will provide the opinion that I have to the Elections and Boundaries Commission so that they can provide their opinion. If an individual was not forthcoming on their position to the officer...that is a matter for the EBC. I think the country needs to know that,” said Rowley.

He said as PNM leader, he guided his party in the decision that “we will not engage in this exercise because it is not free, it is not cheap and it is not without risk”.

He reminded that in 2015, the United National Congress (UNC) decided to file election petitions taking issue with the election results in some seats.

This matter, he said, was dismissed in February 2020, with costs to be paid by the UNC.

“The PNM’s statement of cost for that four-and-a-half-years of litigation is $23 million and the EBC’s cost is approximately $14 million, these claims are to be adjudicated upon in the court in the coming months, for a final position to be determined by the courts,” he said, adding: “I am not prepared to expose the PNM to this situation so as to make a point.”


Taxpayers have forked out close to $4 million in legal fees in the matter of Vertical Aviation LLC and the lease of the Sikorsky S76D helicopter by the former government.

Vertical Aviation had claimed the Government failed to satisfy its obligations under the lease by not paying rent and interest due for late rent payments, failed to replenish the security deposit after the aviation company applied the deposit funds to late rent payments, failed to enrol the aircraft in a tip-to-tail maintenance programme and did not maintain insurance for the aircraft.

A 41-year-old woman remained in police custody yesterday, being questioned in connection with the murder of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance chairman and Piarco Airport corruption accused John Smith, 74, on Friday afternoon.

Around 4.30 p.m. on Friday, offi­cers of the Maraval Police Station responded to a call that there was a domestic dispute at a residence in Haleland Park, Saddle Road, Mara­val.

Professor of molecular genetics and virology at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Christine Carrington says while there are yet no confirmed cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, it is only a matter of time before the highly transmissible variant is detected here.

Carrington was speaking during yesterday’s virtual news conference hosted by the Ministry of Health.

THE manager at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) who cleared an employee of any wrongdoing following a complaint against him has signed an affidavit saying he was repeatedly called upon to change his findings in the matter.

He also said he was denied several requests to interview the Min­ister of Public Utilities for a “witness statement in the matter”.

For decades, Trinidad and Tobago has battled a raging gang problem.

Successive governments and law enforcement have fought to reduce criminal organisations which have engaged in well-executed mafia-style illegal operations, including drug and gun running, money laundering, prostitution, extortion, and crimes like murders, robberies and even what are regarded as white-collar ventures.

It’s only a matter of time before Trini­dad and Tobago gets its first case of the Delta variant, as it’s more transmissible than the P1 (Brazilian) variant, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also warned on Thursday that it is inevitable the highly infectious Delta variant will reach T&T’s shores.

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