Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s position is compromised and an independent jurist or legal team should be appointed to investigate the Darryl Smith sex scandal.
This is according to political analyst Dr Vanus James who noted that the Prime Minister needs to get his house in order with respect to the facts.
James said the Prime Minister is responsible for the actions he takes and this issue is a “weighty one” that requires proper leadership.
He said a proper enquiry will ensure that Smith himself does not argue that he was “hounded” out of office and that all sides are properly ventilated.
“It is in the public interest to have an independent jurist of some sort, a high quality person investigate this matter in a proper way so he (Smith) doesn’t get to claim victimisation and that people are hounded him out of office,” he said.
He added that the Prime Minister recently made statements saying that persons with criminal charges should not hold leadership positions yet there is an issue with a cloud over the head of one of his parliamentarians.
“Moving him (Smith) from a ministry and fixing him up in an alternative way with a matter still outstanding and the grievances by the elected person still unaddressed is not going to work. Remember, this is the same Prime Minister who has recently said that Watson Duke shouldn’t be running for office and Glen Ram because there is a cloud over their heads. So you can’t have a double standard as the Prime Minister or you can and pay the price in the elections when they come around,” said James.
“If he (Rowley) is not fully apprised of the issues and has put himself in a compromising position with a premature statement then maybe he ought to take the matter out of his own hands and appoint a competent committee of qualified legal minds and so on to take a careful look at the situation and allow the country to have a decision they can trust. Based on what he has said there will be little trust in any attempt to remedy his own position while addressing such an important issue,” said James.
James said sexual harassment is a serious issue and if a person is guilty of any such thing he or she should be removed from office and not given an alternative position because of party interest.
“It is clear that the Prime Minister’s position is compromised and he cannot now be relied on to settle the matter in a way that the country can trust,” said James.
He added that this is now a matter of public interest and whether a person has signed a non-disclose agreement or not the matter has come under public scrutiny and the facts can be revealed in an appropriate forum.
In an interview with the Express yesterday, political analyst Derek Ramsamooj said the Prime Minister in his capacity as political leader must request the resignation of Smith as a Member of Parliament with immediate effect.
“Professional incompetence and political bungling has been displayed by the Daryl Smith report. What has been the total cost to the taxpayers and the consequences to the country’s image. The country’s leadership must bear the consequences of their failure. Resignations must be the only option available to the offending individuals. Personal ethics and political morality must influence the PNM value system,” said Smith.
Ramsamooj said the fundamental issue at this point in time is what is the political truth.
“Is it that there is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what has transpired to the public or is a deliberate attempt where he was misinformed of the information given to him? The bigger issue is the notion of lack a political integrity and a lack of transparency in our political system,” he said.
“It is imperative on Darryl Smith to offer his resignation to his political leader. This practice occurred with respect to Franklin Khan and Eric Williams matter where persons who faced public accusation, stepped down, cleared their name and later returned to office,” he added.