Prime Minister could return in July

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

THE Prime Minister is doing fine and could return home sometime before the next meeting of the Caricom Heads of Government.

This was the word from senior government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Wednesday.

According to Caricom’s schedule of meetings for this year, if this meeting is an in-person one, it will take place in Suriname from July 4-5. There is a possibility the meeting may be held virtually.

Dr Rowley, 73, left TT on June 6 to attend the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California. The summit ended on June 10.

Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Stuart Young were part of the delegation Rowley led. They returned home on June 12.

In a statement on June 12, the OPM said Rowley would be staying in California, explaining: “Dr Rowley is scheduled to undergo routine medical testing in the coming weeks which includes cardiac and prostate analysis.”

Senior government officials said Rowley is in good health, and the tests he will undergo are ones he has done in the past.

In March 2019, Rowley went to California for heart tests, after a plaque build-up was found in one of his arteries in an earlier check-up in 2016. The 2016 visit included tests for prostate cancer, for which he was given a clean bill of health. Rowley got another clean bill of health from tests done in 2019.

He previously said the doctors in California had been treating him for nearly three decades. Rowley did not go to California for any medical check-ups over the last two years because of the covid19 pandemic. In 2021 he had an angioplasty in Trinidad. An angioplasty is a prcedure to clear clogged heart arteries.

One official said, “He is well.” This official hinted Rowley could return to TT either by month-end or in early July.

A second official said, “The last I heard, he was as good as always. I don’t have the official return date.”

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) takes place in Kigali, Rwanda between June 20 and 25. Rowley is not attending the CHOGM. Browne is leading TT’s delegation to the meeting.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert is acting as prime minister until Rowley returns home.