Kamla denies substance abuse allegations

PORT OF SPAIN — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is categorically denying that she has a problem with substance abuse.

Persad-Bissessar was asked to respond to suggestions by former minister of gender, youth and child development, Verna St. Rose Greaves, that she (Persad-Bissessar) has an issue which must be addressed frontally. On CNC3’s morning show last week, St. Rose Greaves questioned the prime minister’s ability to function and also alleged that ministers had files against her.

Asked yesterday if she was aware that there is a former government minister who has been “going around making some suggestions with regard to substance abuse”, Persad-Bissessar said everyone is entitled to their opinion.

She was speaking with reporters following the opening ceremony of the Third High-Level Dialogue of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.

“I have no such problem and I have nothing further to say with respect to that,” Persad-Bissessar said.

“It would be most interesting if with every allegation that is made I need to defend myself personally. I serve my country well, I have nothing to be afraid of, I have nothing to be ashamed of and absolutely no substance abuse whatsoever.”

Persad-Bissessar also steered clear of any questions surrounding the hunger strike of Dr Wayne Kublalsingh to protest the proposed construction of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension from Golconda, San Fernando to Point Fortin.

Asked if she planned to accede to Kublalsingh’s request for her to have an audience with him, Persad-Bissessar replied: “I have already spoken on that matter and I have no further comment on it.”

Persad-Bissessar was also asked for her opinion of the request made by Kublalsingh for an independent study to be done on the proposed route and the alternatives

“I have spoken on the matter and I have no further comment on that matter.”

Asked whether she endorsed the comments of some of her ministers who described Kublalsingh as a fraudster and trickster, Persad-Bissessar said: “I have already spoken about this matter. I have no further comment to make.”

Persad-Bissessar responded in similar fashion to two other questions posed to her on the issue. (Express)

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