Last update: 11-Dec-2013 3:10 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PM not postponing local Government Elections
“Win, lose or draw,” local government elections will be held when they are constitutionally due. This was the emphatic declaration by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last evening while speaking with reporters at her Siparia constituency office, SS Erin Road, Siparia. Persad-Bissessar admitted that there were some in her party and within the Cabinet who firmly believed the elections should be postponed.
“Some people found that we should have postponed it,” she said. “I am not of that view. I believe that we owe it to the electorate. I believe that we had promised that on our platform and in conversations, in the elections in 2010. We had always said that we would hold elections when they are due and that is my intention, so to do.”
Earlier this month the Prime Minister said discussions were ongoing to decide whether the local government elections should be postponed. The elections are due on or before October 25. While she did not give a date, Persad-Bissessar said: “The local government elections will be held within the time frame set by law. There will be no postponement of those elections.”
The Jack Warner-led Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and the People’s National Movement (PNM) may have kicked off their campaigns but Persad-Bissessar says she is not worried. She said the People’s Partnership would be ready for the elections. She said: “It is not about readiness. We will be ready. That is what a party is for.
“I think it is more important to have integity in the things that we profess, the things we put out, the things we say. That is more important. Win, lose or draw, we must keep the promises that we make to people. The rest will fall into place.” Last evening, Persad-Bissessar met with Special Olympic medallists from the Lady Hochoy School, Penal, who were successful in the Winter Games in January in South Korea. She also commissioned lights at Morne Diablo Recreation Ground and the Dil Mohammed Recreation Ground, Penal.
Persad-Bissessar said the issue of local government remains a live topic with the Government and she will reveal the planned changes to the local government legislation soon. She said unlike what happened under the previous PNM regime, reform will not delay the elections. “The Cabinet is considering some amendments to the local government elections...I will share those with you later this week,” the PM said.
“We had talked about reform, but I do not believe that reform should stop the process because the reform will continue.” She added that government MPs had been hitting the ground since the Chaguanas West by-election defeat. “I think after Chaguanas West all the MPs got a lesson and they are back out on the ground,” she said. “They became very concerned in dealing with governance that they forgot the ground and they are back out on the ground. “So it is not a campaign—it is what we should do as MPs.”
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