Trinidad Express / SINCE entering office in 2015, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has travelled a total of 17 times – 11 on official business and six in a private capacity.
On one occasion the Prime Minister travelled for both business and pleasure. This was in March this year where he travelled to Houston for energy talks and then proceeded on vacation. On all 17 occasions, Finance Minister Colm Imbert acted as Prime Minister.
Rowley, at the People’s National Movement (PNM) post budget public meeting at Piggots Corner, Port of Spain last Friday said that he travelled about seven times since he assumed power. The Prime Minister was most likely referring to the seven occasions he left the country for private business (inclusive of the March trip this year where he went on vacation after the Houstan meetings).
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath took the Prime Minister to task during his budget debate contribution where he said the PM travelled 17 times and not seven as he indicated.
A list compiled of the Prime Minister’s travels was also circulated on social media which the Express fact checked based on archived information and releases from the Office of the Prime Minister.
In 2014, Rowley, then the Opposition leader, slammed Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for abandoning her post and taking a “carefree hotfoot excursion” while citizens suffered.
Persad-Bissessar had gone to Brazil on with her grandson to take in the World Cup action.
The timing of Persad-Bissessar’s trip was called into question, however, as citizens have been facing difficulties travelling out of the country as a result of action being taken by workers at the Immigration Department offices in Port of Spain and San Fernando.