T&T opposition leader faces death threat

Trinidad and Tobago police have uncovered a murder plot against Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley as the Sept. 7, 2015 General Election heats up.

And this was confirmed by the island’s National Security Minister retired Brigadier Carl Alfonso, who said he was officially informed of the threat by the Deputy Commissioner of Police Glen Hackett.

Security has now being increased around the People’s National Movement (PNM) political leader.

The minister said the threat against Dr. Rowley and any politician or public official at this time — a heated election season, was a cause for concern.

Reports in the PNM have been circulating that a TT$15 million (US$2.3 million) “hit” has been put on the head of Dr. Keith Rowley.

This comes on the heels of sexual harassment claims against him by former investigative journalist Anika Gumbs, who said that the opposition leader had made sexist comments to her when she visited his home on two occasions some six months ago to interview him.

After making the revelation public, Gumbs resigned her job at the Express newspaper last week.

Dr. Rowley told supporters at a recent PNM rally in the Sister Isle, Tobago, that persons linked to the government want to have him killed and assassinate his character.

Pointing to scandals in the People’s Partnership (PP) administration such as Section 34, Emailgate and Prisongate, and saying that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and former attorney general (Anand Ramlogan) are under various police investigations, the PNM leader alleged the Government has created and fueled crime, and then expresses his personal fears.

“As I speak to you today, a few months ago I was in Trinidad and I sit on a platform, for the first time in my career of over 30 years, I feared for my personal safety”, he said adding “Lo and behold, as I speak to you now, I’m surrounded by people who you pay (police) to protect me from people who will have me killed, Dr. Rowley said.

“First time in Trinidad and Tobago, the opposition leader is under attack from the government, And when I’m not under attack from their friends who they hire to kill me, I’m under attack from their friends who they hire to lie about me (the Gumbs allegation),” he added.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described as “reckless and dangerous’ statements by Dr. Rowley that the death threat made against his life had emanated from the People’s Partnership (PP) administration.

She noted that the death threat was not the first made against politicians and said she and former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday had been the subject of such threats.

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