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Ramesh: New life for PNM
Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj says the People’s National Movement’s historic landslide victory in the Tobago House of Assembly election could revitalise the party. “I think that the PNM party has an opportunity of working together with social groups and other groups of the country to rescue T&T,” Maharaj said hours after the PNM secured a 12-0 victory over the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) in Monday’s THA election.
“I think the way the PNM conducts its affairs in the future will determine the future of the PNM.” He said apart from this breath of new life into the PNM, its political leader Dr Keith Rowley also had demonstrated a new culture of inclusiveness in the party. “This is an important signal and the round-table discussions show that important changes are happening in the PNM,” he added.
He said the loss was a lesson to the People’s Partnership Government to keep its promises on the issue of governance of the country. He said: “It will be a mistake if the People’s Partnership Government fails to deliver the promises made in the Tobago election campaign.
“I think the promises which the Government made in the election campaign for the people of Tobago must be implemented and must be delivered to them, otherwise it will make it the second time the Government made promises during elections which they did not keep.”
The result showed the people of Tobago were frustrated with Government’s inability to practice the principles of good governance, he said. He said: “The people of Tobago have spoken for the people of T&T. I don’t know what Jack (TOP leader Ashworth) will do. I don’t know what the TOP party will do but the people of Tobago have rejected the principles which the TOP has been practising.”
He said the Partnership had suffered a great disadvantage because it got into office by demonstrating it was not serious in the fight against corruption. He added: “Section 34 had an important role to play, along with the conduct of governance in the state of emergency, and the high-handedness of the Government and its failure to introduce the legislation for the right to recall, procurement legislation and the lowering of standards of conduct in public office.”
Another important lesson, he said, was that money could not always buy votes.
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