The People's National Movement (PNM) is praying for the health and well being of former Government Minister Marlene McDonald but has reminded that the corruption charges against her stemmed from matters that did not occur under Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley's leadership.
PNM Public Relations Officer Laurel Lezama- Lee Sing stated that the party was saddened by the state of events and thanked McDonald for her service.
"While undoubtedly saddened by this turn of events, the People’s National Movement is thankful for the yeoman service Ms. McDonald has provided, both as a Deputy Political Leader with responsibility for Legislative Matters and as the Port of Spain South MP for the past 12 years. The Party also recalls with gratitude her stint as Chief Whip in the House of Representatives during the Opposition years of 2010-2015," stated Lezama Lee-Sing.
She said the PNM has long stood on the side of the law, and particularly under the stewardship of Rowley.
Lezama Lee-Sing boasted Rowley "has been vehement in its denunciation of corruption and wrong doing, irrespective of the perpetrator’s creed, colour, social status, gender or political affiliation,".
Noting that the McDonald's matter is now before the courts, Lezama Lee-Sing stated that the PNM wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the independence of the major stakeholders in this ongoing situation, namely the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Judiciary.
"It is in the strengthening of that independence, and the timely execution of their functions, that confidence will be reposed once again in our institutions, and the new society of which our Political Leader speaks will be created," stated Lezama Lee-Sing.
"The Party wishes to also acknowledge that these matters for which the four are to be charged, allegedly occurred many years before Prime Minister Rowley first appointed MP McDonald to the Cabinet in 2015, and for which MP McDonald had twice been exonerated by the Integrity Commission," she stated.
The PNM, she stated, joins with McDonald’s constituents, in particular, in praying for her health and continued well-being as "she traverses this difficult part of her life’s journey,".
Lezama Lee-Sing also stated that the PNM has taken "careful note" of the unfolding events surrounding McDonald and three other persons.
She pointed out that it is now widely known in the public domain that charges are expected to be laid against them today, and that Rowley has advised the President, to both revoke McDonald’s Cabinet appointment and appoint Senator Garvin Simonette as her replacement in the Ministry of Public Administration.
Simonette is expected to take the oath at 2 p.m. at the Office of the President, St Ann's.