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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Thursday again dismissed the repeated claim by the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) that he benefitted from a special price on a townhouse in Tobago and that he failed to disclose that information to the Integrity Commission.

The Prime Minister said these allegations were, in fact, part of the UNC’s “campaign” for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.

While the UNC is not contesting any of the 15 districts in Monday’s elections, the Prime Minister and the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement has maintained that their opponents, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) was acting as an arm of the UNC and both are helping each other’s cause during the campaign.

On Thursday, two UNC members – MP for San Juan/ Barataria Saddam Hosein and Senator Wade Mark – held a media conference and Hosein repeated some of the allegations he raised against the PM at the party’s Monday Night Virtual Forum, including details on Rowley’s purchase of a townhouse in an upscale development in Tobago.

“There is an election in Tobago on Monday. This is their campaign,” Rowley said in response.

“It’s a desperate attempt to do something, anything to help the PDP.

“They believe that by slandering me with their foolishness, they could stir up some trumped-up mud for the campaign.”

The Prime Minister added, “This and the black shirts are their contributions to the PDP, who are their proxy in Tobago.”

He said the UNC continued to “lie on innocent people.”

“Somehow, they think they could generate a scandal from my private purchase or my family business. We shall see,” he said.

Part of Hosein’s argument is that Rowley was able to secure the property at a lower cost than the other surrounding units and saved some $500,000.

According to Hosein, the townhouse is listed as belonging to both the PM and his wife, Sharon Rowley. He also said Rowley’s daughter purchased one of the units at a reduced cost.

Hosein has written to the Integrity Commission to confirm whether the PM disclosed the 2019 purchase.

“The corrupt UNC could fabricate any rubbish they want until they slander me. That is when I will be interested in them and their nastiness,” Rowley added.

One land developer, who requested anonymity, yesterday told Guardian Media that oftentimes, a purchaser of a unit could request the building structure without any fixture and fittings and this would lead to large savings for them. He said that in cases such as that, the purchaser would then be responsible for outfitting their own home.