T&T transparency institute slams appointment of Warner as acting PM

PORT OF SPAIN,  (Reuters) – Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, an independent non-profit group, has slammed the appointment of former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner as the country’s acting prime minister, saying serious allegations against him in the football organization remain unresolved.

Warner, who is the country’s works and transport minister, was appointed acting prime minister yesterday in the absence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who will be out of the country for a week attending meetings in Belize, Barbados and the United States.

“We do not believe that this appointment sends a positive message about the standards of behaviour and integrity that we expect from our leaders,” the institute said.

“We call on the government to demonstrate its commitment to the highest standards of governance by ensuring that the conduct and behavior of those who are given leadership responsibilities are beyond reproach,” it added.

Transparency Trinidad is part of the global Transparency International, an independent anti-corruption group that describes itself as a “global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption.”

Warner, 68, who was CONCACAF president for 21 years, resigned from his soccer positions in June last year after he was suspended by FIFA in a cash-for-votes scandal that rocked soccer’s governing body.

The allegations stem from a campaign by Mohammed Bin Hammam of Qatar to win the presidency of FIFA. He and Warner were accused of attempting to bribe members of the Caribbean Football Union to support to Bin Hammam’s candidacy during a meeting the two organized in Trinidad. Both men have repeatedly denied the allegations and both were suspended by FIFA.

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