Above: Jack Warner
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Trinidad and Tobago National Security Minister Jack Warner has resigned, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced.
The PM said she had officially accepted his resignation in a statement on Monday.
“I wish to thank Mr Warner for his service to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago,” she said in the statement.
Emmanuel George has been appointed Minister of National Security, while Local Government Minister Surujrattan Ramabachan has added George’s former portfolio of Works and Infrastructure to his existing portfolio.
Warner’s resignation comes after a damning report by an ethics panel of regional soccer body CONCACAF accusing him and Chuck Blazer, the former secretary general of CONCACAF, of fraud and misappropriating more than $15 million in CONCACAF funds.
In 2011, Warner was alleged to have been involved in bribing regional delegates at a football conference in Port of Spain, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
That led to calls by former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga for Warner to resign as CONCACAF president — which Warner did soon after, quitting FIFA and leaving his posts at CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union.
But while the probes and accusations reportedly led to internal division over Warner’s continued role in Trinidad’s government, he remained in the Cabinet, eventually shifting from Works Minister to National Security Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in June 2011.
But the new CONCACAF report seemingly proved too much for Warner and the government. It’s not clear what impact this will have on the ruling People’s Partnership going forward.