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False PLOTT! President Weekes slams misinformation on her perceived role in Smith sacking

“Her Excellency is greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication, particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly, which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.”

The following release from the Office of the President comes in response to a media statement by Gillian Wall, co-founder of Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT):

Photo: Newly elected President Paula-Mae Weekes addresses the nation on the occasion of her swearing-in on Monday 17 March, 2018.

It has come to the attention of Her Excellency President Paula-Mae Weekes that there is currently in circulation on social media a message stating that the President refused to act upon the Prime Minister’s advice and appoint Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing.

Her Excellency denies unequivocally any such action. President Weekes refers all citizens to Section 79 (1) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago which states:

“The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions in writing, assign to the Prime Minister or any other Minister responsibility for any business of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, including the administration of any department of Government.”

In other words, the President is mandated by the Constitution to appoint Ministers of Government whenever advised to do so by the Prime Minister unless the individual fails to satisfy a condition required by the Constitution. For example, Section 41 of the Constitution which requires that a Senator be a citizen of the minimum age of 25.

Her Excellency is greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication, particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) makes a pass at Minister of Public Utilities Fitzgerald Hinds at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground on 20 January, 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

PLOTT Media Release—11 April, 2018

Yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minster (OPM) issued a media release informing the public that: “the Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley advised Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in keeping with the provision of Section 3(9) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to revoke the appointment of Mr Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.”

The release indicated that the advice followed: “a meeting between the Prime Minister, the Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis and Mr Smith during which new information came to the attention of the Prime Minister.”

The public were aslo [sic] advised that: “the meeting resulted in the appointment of a committee to thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal and payment of compensation to Ms Carrie-Ann Moreau at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.”

The Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) takes note that all of the above came one day after the Honourable Prime Minister informed the public that the President was advised to reassign Mr Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Photo: Former minister of sport and youth affairs Darryl Smith.

While this level of inconsistency does not augre [sic] well for public trust, there is however, some light at the helm of the apparently rudderless ship we’ve become as a nation.

We at PLOTT are of the understanding that it was in fact Her Excellency, Ms. Paula Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago who refused to appoint and swear in Darryl Smith as Junior Minister of Housing, doing so firstly within her powers as Head of State, and as a Woman and Leader of integirty [sic].

If our understanding is indeed correct and we do believe it to be so, we hereby commend the President on her adamant objection to Mr. Smith’s appointment in light of the sexual harrassment [sic] allegations against him. This level of courage and conviction is indeed consistent with the President’s reminder in her inaugural address that we can all do our part, we can all be a light. PLOTT remains of the firm belief that when acting and leading with integrity we’ll achieve far greater levels of efficiency and consistency.

In closing, we take this opportunity to once again congratulate Her Excellency, Ms Paula Mae Weekes on her appointment as the sixth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and wish her continued success in reinstilling a sense of hope, trust and confidence in the Office of the President, public leadership and our future as a nation.

Positively,

Ms Gillian Wall

Co-Founder and Chief PLOTTer

We Are The Change.

Photo: PLOTT co-founder and chair Gillian Wall.

Editor’s Note: The PLOTT executive is constituted as follows:
(Board Members) Gillian Wall (Co-founder and Chairperson), Catherine Kumar (Co-founder) and Cherisse Huggins (Secretary and Legal Counsel);

(Leadership Team) Gillian Wall (Chief PLOTTer and Membership Committee Head), Dale Laughlin (PLOTTalogue and Health and Wellness Committee), Lyndira Oudit (Membership Committee, South Trinidad), Anna Henderson (PLOTTalogue Committee), Beverly Wilson (Treasurer), Lisa Ghany (Events Committee Head).

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61 comments

  1. Really good to see that Madam President did not do like most others and leave others to believe what they wished but instead wasted no time ensuring we all knew the truth. Well done Madam President! Perhaps with you now steering the wheel of the Highest Office of the land we the citizens can genuinely begin hoping for a slow but positive change in T&T.

  2. They start already lord help these quacks and invelade

  3. Plott should be very ashamed smh

  4. D president smart, she knows she got no powers other than to order the police officers escourting her as to her next destination.

  5. You would think a group of that nature would vet information before they place it in the public domain. Given the composition of the group they must know that with regards to the appointment of ministers the president has no discretionary powers . It’s an instruction from the Prime Minister which they must carry out. Sweet T&T.

  6. They are taking to long to jail all UNC members they are Bent on destroying t&t sick set of people

  7. Y lie ,is a sick set of people t&t dealing with smh

  8. Saw a picture of the ladies of PLOTT,and, was not surprised. Madame president is a powerful lady.

  9. PLOTT hound… a dog used for hunting!

  10. PLOTT Apology

    Media Release – April 11th 2018

    Re: Official Statement from the Executive of PLOTT

    The Executive and members of PLOTT stand firmly in support of co-founder and Chief PLOTTer, Ms Gillian Wall and endorse the following statement.

    “It’s without hesitation that I, Gillian Wall extend my sincerest apologies for any distress that today’s media release issued by myself on behalf of PLOTT may have caused, to Her Excellency the President, the members of PLOTT (our PLOTTers) and the members of the Public. This is indeed most unfortunate and was not at all the intention of the release.”

    PLOTT remains committed to doing our part to build a better Trinidad and Tobago.

    We are the change.

    Positively,

    The Executive Team of the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT)

  11. Actually you are the problem. ..how embarrassing

  12. The plot to plot against our first female President by PLOTT was foiled. Totally reprehensible

  13. What a shame they should fade to black..

  14. Well done , Your Excellency. It is time to put a stop to the misinformation that ‘big’ people use to draw attention to themselves!

  15. How could she be advised to revoke an appointment she failed to make? PLOTT making sense?

  16. The appointment that concerns me is that of Maxie Cuffie. Her Excellency should have refused to heed the advice of the Prime Minister pending the receipt of medical advice on the mental and physical state of the incumbent Minister and when he is expected to arrive within national jurisdiction. That fact is that Maxie Cuffie is outside of our jurisdiction, is mentally and physically incapacitated and as a consequence totally incapable by body and mind and extra- jurisdictional location to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Minister.
    I submit that Her Excellency erred on this important Presidential assignment when her sense of justice and rightness was called for.

    • Clearly, the Maxie Cuffie appointment is to permit the fellow to draw a minister’s salary (and perks) while he is recovering abroad. Of course, one of the perks is that the State will continue meeting his expenses at the foreign institution he is currently lodged at.

      It is a possible breach of the Constitution, as a minister may be removed on the grounds that s/he is incapacitated and unable to fulfil the functions of the role. To do so, however, will require a complaint.

  17. Allyuh see alla dese comments pushing dong on Smith… is jealous allyuh jealous.

    De man know, no matter wha allyuh saying bout he looks or he size or he lard… he KNOWS he is de village (country?) ram, de dan dada, better than Ramsingh Sharma. He so sure dem ladies want him, he say he could trow dong de country before Rowley or Barrow could sign a blank cheque.

    De man claim to be untouchable. Only it tun out Rowley didn need to touch him tuh fire him. He jess had was to do like Trump and say, “You’re fired!” Who’da guess? Definitely not the heavy D.

    It took Rowley a while to realise that DS was fulla BS… or did he? Doh discount ah ‘spit and lick’ and D coming back like MacDonald’s…. yuh buss once, try again. Buh as Rowley say on de platform, keep the secrets better this time.

  18. Media Release – April 11th 2018

    Re: President’s response to misinformation in the public domain and the requirements of the constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

    Earlier today the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) issued a media release on the Honourable Prime Minister’s advice to the President to appoint Mr. Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and his subsequent advice to the President to revoke same. A copy of this release is available via the link below.

    ▪ Link to PLOTT’s Media Release on Darryl Smith’s appointment and the revoking of that appointment
    Upon careful review of PLOTT’s release and the very deliberate structure of same, one may better understand the obectives of the release which are outlined below and do remain the same.

    Objectives of the PLOTT Media Release referenced above

    Please note that our release sought to;

    1) Highlight the timing of the PM’s advice to the President to appoint Mr. Smith and his subsequent advice to revoke the appointment

    2) Highlight that this level of inconsistency does not augur well for public trust

    3) Share “our understanding of information” currently in the Public domain about the President’s alleged “refusal to appoint and swear in Mr. Smith”, however very specifically and deliberately does NOT confirm this information

    4) Commend the President, if so, on her “adamant objection to Mr. Smith’s appointment in light of the sexual harrassment allegations against him.”

    5) Reiterate our thoughts on the level of courage and conviction we believe consistent with the President’s reminder in her inaugural address that we can all do our part, we can all be a light.

    6) Reiterate our belief that when acting and leading with integrity we’ll achieve far greater levels of efficiency and consistency

    The Office of the President today issued a media release on a message currently being circulated via social media. Please see the appendices below for a copy of the message referenced in the President’s release._ In today’s release, the Office of the President, rightfully so, advised on the inaccuracy of this message and also took the opportunity to inform the public on the requirements of our constitution with regard to the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, a copy of the media release from the Office of the President is included within the appendices below.

    PLOTT commends the President on her timely response to the message being circulated via social media and on her diligence in seizing the opportunity to advise the public on the requirements of our constitution and the tenets to which she is duly bound.

    PLOTTT believes that it is indeed important that members of the public very clearly understand who is ultimately responsible for the appointment and removal of Cabinet Ministers in accordance with our constitution; that responsibility lies ultimately and solely with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As we currently operate under the Westminster system adopted by the English, we take this opportunity to also highlight the English Ministerial Code of Conduct with regard to the expected behaviour of Ministers in certain aspects, in the performance of their functions. Extracts of this code has been included at the end of this release and reaffirm that the PM is the ultimate judge of the standards of behavior expected of a Minister and the appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards

    PLOTT believes that it is best that, sooner rather than later, the public very clearly understands what functions, especially with regard to the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, lie within the President’s power and what functions do not. As an individual, a public official, including the President, may “object” and even express those objections, however the office holder is duly bound to act in accordance with our constitution, even in the event the required action may be contrary to any personal objections the office holder may hold.

    In closing, PLOTT takes this opportunity to reiterate our objection to the appointment of any Minister, including Mr. Darryl Smith, who is currently the subject of sexual harrassment allegations. Any such appointment does not engender public trust and confidence.

    Positively,

    Ms. Gillian Wall
    Co-Founder and Chief PLOTTer

    We Are The Change.

  19. PLOTT Statement:
    Media Release – April 11th 2018

    Re: President’s response to misinformation in the public domain and the requirements of the constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

    Earlier today the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) issued a media release on the Honourable Prime Minister’s advice to the President to appoint Mr. Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and his subsequent advice to the President to revoke same. A copy of this release is available via the link below.

    ▪ Link to PLOTT’s Media Release on Darryl Smith’s appointment and the revoking of that appointment
    Upon careful review of PLOTT’s release and the very deliberate structure of same, one may better understand the obectives of the release which are outlined below and do remain the same.

    Objectives of the PLOTT Media Release referenced above

    Please note that our release sought to;

    1) Highlight the timing of the PM’s advice to the President to appoint Mr. Smith and his subsequent advice to revoke the appointment

    2) Highlight that this level of inconsistency does not augur well for public trust

    3) Share “our understanding of information” currently in the Public domain about the President’s alleged “refusal to appoint and swear in Mr. Smith”, however very specifically and deliberately does NOT confirm this information

    4) Commend the President, if so, on her “adamant objection to Mr. Smith’s appointment in light of the sexual harrassment allegations against him.”

    5) Reiterate our thoughts on the level of courage and conviction we believe consistent with the President’s reminder in her inaugural address that we can all do our part, we can all be a light.

    6) Reiterate our belief that when acting and leading with integrity we’ll achieve far greater levels of efficiency and consistency

    The Office of the President today issued a media release on a message currently being circulated via social media. Please see the appendices below for a copy of the message referenced in the President’s release._ In today’s release, the Office of the President, rightfully so, advised on the inaccuracy of this message and also took the opportunity to inform the public on the requirements of our constitution with regard to the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, a copy of the media release from the Office of the President is included within the appendices below.

    PLOTT commends the President on her timely response to the message being circulated via social media and on her diligence in seizing the opportunity to advise the public on the requirements of our constitution and the tenets to which she is duly bound.

    PLOTTT believes that it is indeed important that members of the public very clearly understand who is ultimately responsible for the appointment and removal of Cabinet Ministers in accordance with our constitution; that responsibility lies ultimately and solely with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As we currently operate under the Westminster system adopted by the English, we take this opportunity to also highlight the English Ministerial Code of Conduct with regard to the expected behaviour of Ministers in certain aspects, in the performance of their functions. Extracts of this code has been included at the end of this release and reaffirm that the PM is the ultimate judge of the standards of behavior expected of a Minister and the appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards

    PLOTT believes that it is best that, sooner rather than later, the public very clearly understands what functions, especially with regard to the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, lie within the President’s power and what functions do not. As an individual, a public official, including the President, may “object” and even express those objections, however the office holder is duly bound to act in accordance with our constitution, even in the event the required action may be contrary to any personal objections the office holder may hold.

    In closing, PLOTT takes this opportunity to reiterate our objection to the appointment of any Minister, including Mr. Darryl Smith, who is currently the subject of sexual harrassment allegations. Any such appointment does not engender public trust and confidence.

    Positively,

    Ms. Gillian Wall
    Co-Founder and Chief PLOTTer

    We Are The Change.

  20. Fake news aside….PLOTT didn’t have someone to read over that release before it went out??!!?? The errors boy!!

  21. Let’s just be glad Darryl didn’t get his hands on you ma’am

    • Earl Best

      Careful, Rae, careful! Nothing is as yet proven. TT$150,000 settlement and ministerial firing notwithstanding, we’re still dealing with mere allegations. The only hard evidence we so far have is Wired868s hands-on photo–and then there’s still the little matter of consenting adults!

  22. Thanks Wired868, but I have never heard of them until yesterday.

  23. The PLOTT executive comprises of:� (Board Members) Gillian Wall (Co-Founder and Chairperson), Catherine Kumar (Co-Founder) and Cherisse Huggins (Secretary and Legal Counsel);
    (Leadership Team) Gillian Wall (Chief PLOTTer and Membership Committee Head), Dale Laughlin (PLOTTalogue and Health and Wellness Committee), Lyndira Oudit (Membership Committee, South Trinidad), Anna Henderson (PLOTTalogue Committee), Beverly Wilson (Treasurer), Lisa Ghany (Events Committee Head).

  24. PLOTTers,where them come out to be making mischief already?

  25. Earl Best

    Looks as though PLOTT’s source might have been an ex-minister. The sub-PLOTT may be to get women fighting among themselves and make them look bad, thus possibly shifting the attention away from where it currently is.

    • It’s the Trini culture again, raising its head. We like a bacchanal, gossip, speculation etc. Forget the facts, they are not as appetising as the fodder we are fed, and grown accustomed to.

      Culture! Mark my words, it will arise again and again. It insinuates itself into our very being, and we cannot escape its tendrils. We are unconscious victims as well as perpetrators.