Black Immigrant Daily News
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and wife, Sharon, with specially-invited guests at the closing ceremony of PatriARTism. Photo by Roger Jacob
THE “lavish” party which the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar accused the Prime Minister of throwing on Saturday was actually the closing-off of a month-long celebration by Angostura.
The company, in a media release, clarified that the event was not state-sponsored but a private celebration where Dr Rowley was an invited guest.
On Saturday, Rowley was the feature speaker at the closing ceremony for the five-week Patriartism exhibition at Mille Fleurs. The exhibition, which began on August 25 and ended on September 30, featured the private art collections of First Citizens Bank, Central Bank and Angostura, which were on show at Castle Killarney (Stollmeyer’s Castle), Whitehall and Mille Fleurs.
Angostura’s participation was to celebrate the country’s diamond jubilee Independence celebration.
In a media release on Monday, Persad-Bissessar accused the Prime Minister of “disrespecting” citizens by throwing a party “for himself and his wealthy friends, paid for by taxpayers.”
The Opposition Leader said the event ignored the suffering of the poor and working class, and chastised not just Rowley but three ministers – Marvin Gonzales, Shamfa Cudjoe and Brian Manning – and MP Keith Scotland. She claimed they were out of touch with reality, judging from their comments in response to criticisms of the budget.
She said: “It was a most evil act of incitement against citizens, reminiscent of the behaviour of detached tyrants and dictators. This latest provocation comes on the heels of statements from PNM ministers scolding the population.”
The Prime Minister did not respond to Persad-Bissessar’s claims.