Embattled Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Mayor Raymond Tim Kee has resigned his post following condemnation and protests over his comments about women’s “lewd” and “vulgar” carnival behavior.
His comments were in response to questions about the discovery of the body of Japanese visitor Asami Nagakiya at the Queen’s Park Savannah, clad in a bikini costume on Ash Wednesday during a press conference.
Unaware that the 30-year-old pannist was strangled to death (before the autopsy was performed) Tim Kee told reporters that women had a responsibility to ensure they were not abused.
He also referred to a previous statement he made about “vulgarity” and “lewdness” displayed by some women during carnival.
Several women rights activists, politicians and other groups called on the mayor to resign and staged a protest march outside his office at City Hall in Port of Spain condemning his statement saying he was linking it to the Japanese murder.
The mayor later apologized for his comments, which he said was misconstrue by the media.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and Chairman of the PNM Franklyn Khan had also called on Tim Kee to step down from office. The mayor is the treasurer of the PNM.
Dr. Rowley, who first said he saw no reason in firing the mayor, later changed his tune and said Tim Kee’s comments “were totally unacceptable.”
In a statement Tim Kee said in part, “It is hoped with this decision the office of the mayor is now protected, my unreserved apology accepted by my fellow citizens and the focus can now be placed on fully solving the murder of a visitor to our shores.”