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Moonilal: PM is harmless 70-year-old with some illness

Published: 
Monday, March 12, 2018

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The war of words between Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley transcended the walls of Parliament yesterday as he described Rowley as a harmless 70-year-old man with some illnesses.

Moonilal said he was not afraid of Rowley and considered confronting him to find out what were the PM’s grievances with him. However, he threatened that should Rowley direct another violent outburst at him, he may report it to the police.

Moonilal was speaking at a cricket match at the University of T&T in Tarouba, where he called a media conference to raise several issues.

On Friday in Parliament, Rowley challenged Moonilal to “meet him outside on the pavement.” Rowley’s comments were a response to Moonilal’s question: “Could the Prime Minister indicate whether it’s the intention of the party he leads to help Minister (Maxie) Cuffie rather than the taxpayers?”

However, instead of hearing the words “party he leads”, Dr Rowley’s reply suggested that he heard the words, “party elites,”

Rowley then responded: “If my colleague from Oropouche East wants to talk about party elites, I’ll meet him outside on the pavement.” The comment caused shock in the Lower House leading to heavy criticism by the Opposition.

Yesterday, Moonilal described the comments as violent and unbecoming of a prime minister. Moonilal said that while he believed Rowley was harmless, he was the leader of a political party and such behaviour could incite violence as a means to settle political arguments. He said this was the practice in politically tense countries like India, Pakistan, Palestine and Israel.

“I don’t see Dr Rowley himself as anyone to fear. He is harmless. He is a 70-year-old man with some illnesses and so on, but he may be inciting others and that is what we condemn in the strongest possible language. Look, quite frankly, Keith Rowley should not be talking as if he is Gold Teeth the bad john, he should not be talking like he is Dr Rat, he should not be talking as if he is down by Black Cat on the wharf in San Fernando.

“He should be talking like he is a Prime Minister and quite frankly I am sick and tired of this behaviour by him and my colleagues, and my party colleagues, family and friends who know me very well, they have been very proud that I have remained silent,” Moonilal said.

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