Caribbean News Round-up


Moonilall: What Sin has Stacy committed?

stacy[Trinidad Express] – Dr Roodal Moonilal, candidate for political leader in the United National Congress (UNC), has issued a warning to his rival, incumbent political leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to desist from attacking young members of the political party.

He was responding to statements Persad-Bissessar made about former Oropouche West MP Stacy Roopnarine. Persad-Bissessar, speaking at a public meeting in Freeport, said UNC members should not cross vote for people like Roopnarine who was angry because she was rejected for the Oropouche West seat and showed no loyalty to the party.

Speaking at a UNC Loyalists public meeting in San Francique on Wednesday night, Moonilal said Roopnarine, who is contesting the position of deputy political leader on the Team Reconnect slate led by Vasant Bharath, should be congratulated for her courage.

He said, “I want to take umbrage with the incumbent political leader who launched a vicious attack on the former MP Oropouche West. What sin did she commit by offering herself for a deputy political leader? She is not on our slate, we are not here to campaign for her, but we are not here to campaign against her. If the people decide she is a good material, a loyal servant, and want her to be deputy leader you are free to vote for her. But we are ought not to attack our young members.”

Moonilal questioned what kind of political party would invest in young people, place them in high Parliamentary positions and then “spit” them out.

“Is that how a good mother will treat a daughter? Give them opportunity, put them in the highest parliament, give them executive position and then when they go against you, you want to spit them out? That is not how we ought to treat young people in our party. They running against me and I congratulate them on their courage,” he said.

Roopnarine has expressed hurt and disappointment by Persad-Bissessar’s statements.

Moonilal said following the UNC internal elections on Saturday, he would be willing to work with all members of the party, including Roopnarine and Persad-Bissessar.

And he has promised to reunite all members who have fallen out of the UNC.

Moonilal said his slate was already endorsed by Nirvan Maharaj, political leader of the National Solidarity Assembly (NSA). The NSA was formed by former Caroni (1975) Limited and disgruntled members of the UNC.

And should he win leadership of the party on Saturday, Moonilal said he will attempt to unite all political parties which were born out of the UNC.

Moonilal also pointed out several irregularities in the UNC’s electoral list. He said members were listed to vote out of their districts. A woman living in Arouca was listed to vote in Tobago West, he said. And a well-known councilor found that his name was not on the list to vote on Saturday, he said.

“That is how the party conducts its business. The EBC treat us better and they take the EBC to court to ask the EBC to behave fairly. That you must treat people fairly and you must be rational and reasonable. Should we not take them to court for a judicial review action now?” he said.

Moonilal said he should not be held responsible for the Peoples Partnership loss in the 2015 general elections. He said he was not a member of the national campaign committee, which comprised Shem Baldeosingh, who was employed in the Office of the Prime Minister, Naparima MP Rodney Charles, UNC general secretary Dave Tancoo and Richard Ahmed.

“I tell you that because we are a political party that must not be ashamed to call the names of people who are in our national campaign committee,” he said.

Moonilal said Persad-Bissessar failed to act in her position as political leader when she did not address supporters at Rienzi Complex, Couva following the party’s defeat in the general elections.

He said, “On election night a leadership moment presented itself at 11pm when it became clear that we were out of Government. I called the Prime Minister at her constituency office in Siparia and I said I believe you should go to Rienzi and if you are going I will go and stand by your side. She said she will call me back in an hour.”

Moonilal said he also asked Persad-Bissessar if he should go to the party’s headquarters and address supporters. “She said no don’t go I will think about it and call you in an hour. We still waiting for that call,” he said.
Brazil Rousseff: Impeachment process opens against president

Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff

[BBC] – The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress has opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

The process is based on allegations Ms Rousseff broke the law in managing last year’s budget, Eduardo Cunha said.

Despite re-election last year, her popularity has slumped amid a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras.

“I was outraged by the decision,” said Ms Rousseff in a televised speech.

“I haven’t committed any wrongful act,” she added.

Ms Rousseff, who earlier called an emergency cabinet meeting, said she was confident that the impeachment motion would be rejected.

Two-thirds of the lower house must approve the process for it to proceed.

The governing coalition has a majority in the lower house of Congress.

The defeated opposition candidate in last year’s presidential election, Senator Aecio Neves, has tweeted that he supports the impeachment request.

“Everyone in the country must obey the law, especially the president,” he wrote.

Mr Cunha is himself facing corruption allegations, which he denies.

He has been accused of lying about a secret bank account in Switzerland.


Two Fifa vice-presidents detained at Zurich hotel

FIFA[BBC] – Two Fifa vice-presidents have been arrested in a dawn raid at a Swiss hotel on suspicion of accepting millions of dollars of bribes.

Concacaf president Alfredo Hawit and Conmebol president Juan Angel Napout were taken from the Baur au Lac hotel, Zurich, where several Fifa officials were also arrested in May.

Fifa’s executive committee has been meeting in the city, voting on reforms.

It says it will “fully co-operate” with separate US and Swiss investigations.

The US Department of Justice requested Thursday morning’s arrests as part of its ongoing investigation into corruption in football’s world governing body.

Hawit, 64, is interim president for North, Central America and Caribbean football, while Napout, 57, oversees football in the South American confederation.

They are alleged to have taken money for selling marketing rights in connection with football tournaments in Latin America, as well as World Cup qualifying matches, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FoJ) said.

“According to the US arrest requests, they are suspected of accepting bribes of millions of dollars,” it said, adding that the pair had opposed their extradition to the United States at a hearing earlier.





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