Adviser resigns

Gary Griffith
Gary Griffith

PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, Gary Griffith, has resigned from the United National Congress.

He has however refused to give any reason for his resignation.

The other high profile member to resign recently from the UNC was Jack Warner.

Griffith reportedly wrote to the UNC’s general secretary Dave Tancoo on June 7, 2013, advising that he was resigning with immediate effect. The letter was also copied to political leader of the UNC, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

“I still remain the National Security Adviser to the National Security Council,” Griffith told the Express yesterday.

Assuring his commitment to the government, even as he cuts ties with the party, Griffith said “my focus is on continuing to acquire the best policies to provide the citizens of this country with their most fundamental right, which is that of security”.

He said he wanted to make it “categorically clear that he is still supportive of the People’s Partnership Government and the Prime Minister”.

Griffith, who has been vocal on a number of issues relating to the Government in the past, recently criticised the Government’s protocol blunder during the three-day State visit in early June of the President of China , Xi Jinping.

He submitted his resignation the day before he publicly criticised the country’s lack of proper protocol arrangements for the visiting head of state.

Griffith, in an e-mail dated June 8 titled Poor excuses for protocol faux-pas which was reported in the Express, said there were too many glaring and unforced glitches, not only at the welcoming ceremony at the Piarco International Airport for the Chinese President but also at the State banquet.

In his blistering attack on those responsible for the protocol arrangements, he stated: “The number of blunders are too numerous to singularly mention. However the State banquet, which would have put even those completely ignorant of protocol training in tailspin: from the lack of master of ceremony to the non-announcement of the arrival of their Excellencies; to the non-announcement of the national anthem of China and the national anthem of Trinidad and Tobago to the lack of interpretation of the toast; to the questionable seating arrangements; to the last minute invitation of the Leader of the Opposition.”

This action is said to have angered some within the Government.

Griffith got his first taste of politics in 2005 when he joined the Progressives slate of the UNC, led by former National Security Minister Jack Warner, which contested against Team Patriot led by then political leader Basdeo Panday. Warner contested the position of deputy political leader of the UNC.

Other members of the Progressives slate were Sadiq Baksh, for the post of party organiser, Manohar Ramsaran, regional representative-Central; and Gerald Yetming who contested vice chairmanship of the party.

Panday was elected unopposed, for the position of chairman while Dookeran was also elected, unopposed, as political leader of the party in the October 2nd, 2005 internal election described as one of the most bruising elections. (Express)

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