Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ganga to assume role of constituency ‘caretaker’
Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh will return to St Joseph, not in his former role as CEO of the Water and Sewerage Authority, but as a “caretaker” of the community in the absence of an elected parliamentary representative. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said so yesterday after distributing laptops to students at St James Secondary School.
She said St Joseph would remain a UNC constituency until otherwise decided by the electorate in a by-election. “We will put a caretaker person in the constituency to service the constituents, we will take up their issues in the Parliament,” she said. “I have asked Minister Ganga Singh to be the caretaker, not the MP, but the caretaker of the St Joseph constituency.”
The seat, recently held by former justice minister Herbert Volney, was declared vacant on Monday by Speaker Wade Mark with immediate effect, in keeping with the provisions of the Crossing of the Floor Act. Asked about comments by Volney, who joined the Independent Liberal Party, that he had been voted in by the people, Persad-Bissessar said she considered it an “oxymoron. “It’s a bit of an oxymoron,” she said.
“If you say you are representing the people, go back and face the people. Go back to an election. You were elected on a ticket by the people and if the people do not want a UNC representative, let them choose whichever representative they want. I have no fear of the people.” “How can you on one hand say you are a representative of the people but you are afraid to face the people to determine if it’s you they want or if it was the party ticket they voted for?”
Persad-Bissessar said it was deceptive to go up on one party ticket and then become “totally different, like a chameleon changing its colours.” She said: “If that is so, that is your democratic right, it is the democratic right of the electorate to then say yes, I want you, I want you, I want green, I want yellow, or I want red.”
On the local government elections, scheduled to take place on October 21, Persad-Bissessar said she was still negotiating with other members of the People’s Partnership on prospective candidates for the corporations.
“My team is meeting with the COP (Congress of the People) again this afternoon and I have advised them that the most prudent thing is for us to compete on one ticket per corporation, so the negotiations now would be which corporations will be contested by, whether the COP, the NJAC (National Joint Action Committee) or the UNC,” she said.
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