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No heckle for PM as she visits Bethany
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar passed a group of PNM supporters in Mt Pleasant, Tobago, undisturbed Monday night and entered the village of Bethany to a resounding welcome from Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) supporters. They danced to the reggae song, She’s Royal, her introductory song at TOP political meetings in Tobago when she makes her way to the platform.
Mt Pleasant TOP candidate Richard Alfred said history was being created with the visit of the PM. Once a drug-infested area, he said, it was the first time in the history of T&T a prime minister came to the village. “We are very grateful. Prime Minister we love you. Come again, come anytime. You are welcome in Bethany,” he added.
Bethany’s outpouring of love for the PM followed two incidents in Plymouth and Roxborough which she visited, where PNM supporters told her to leave because she was not welcome. Persad-Bissessar took the podium to the strains of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and began her address by quoting from the book of Isaiah in the Bible.
Dismissing the PNM protestors as “a handful of people who may think differently from you,” she said: “Every time I come Tobago, a few people does get vex. This is not the first time I came to Tobago and it will not be the last.” Drawing a parallel between the Isaiah quote and Tobago’s politics, she said: “The people were suffering and said ‘Lord whom shall we send?’ Ashworth Jack said, Lord send me.”
The PM, since last Sunday, has been at Jack’s side in walkabouts and at meetings, giving him her personal endorsement. He has been under fire from political rivals over a million-dollar house he built in Tobago and having allegedly prepared notes at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election debate last Thursday. “Tonight, I stand side-by-side with Ashworth Jack and the TOP,” the PM said.
Commenting on the alleged independent poll by Solution by Simulation which showed the PNM winning 11 of the THA’s 12 seats and Jack facing the danger of losing his own, she said: “Some say there’s a landslide for Orville London (THA Chief Secretary) and 36 per cent of the voters are undecided.” The real poll, she told the noisy crowd, dressed in yellow TOP jerseys and hats, was on Monday January 21, election day. The TOP, she said, was the clear winner.
She added: “The TOP gone clear. This election has gone TOP. I am sure Ashworth will win with a resounding victory. “Jack has a nice house. Is it a crime to build a nice house? This election is not about the house that Jack built. It’s about governance in the THA.” Persad-Bissessar told TOP supporters to warn undecided relatives that a vote for Platform For the Truth leader Hochoy Charles was a vote for the PNM.
“Should you vote for Charles, you will throw away the election,” she added. The PM, as she has been doing at every political meeting in Tobago, reassured supporters again they had nothing to fear from Trinidad. “There will be no invasion of Tobago,” she said.“Don’t get carried away with emotions and the scare tactics of the PNM,” she added.
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