Last update: 06-Dec-2013 1:00 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PNM, ILP launch campaigns
The official Opposition—the People’s National Movement (PNM)—was first out of the box launching its local government campaign yesterday afternoon with a full frontal attack on the ruling People’s Partnership coalition, with special denunciation of the Congress of the People (COP), as well as on new challenger Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party (ILP) which launched its campaign last night. Large crowds gathered for the PNM’s launch at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, and the ILP’s launch in Chaguanas, as platform speakers fired off their respective bids to capture the 14 regional corporations up for grabs in the October 21 local government polls.
PNM and ILP launched their respective campaigns on the eve of today’s Nomination Day exercise, for registration of candidates. Both parties presented 136 candidates to contest the elections. The ILP, whose launch started at 6 pm, was still presenting candidates up to 9.30 pm last night and Warner had not yet spoken. The PNM launch ended by 7 pm. The governing People’s Partnership, a coalition of four political parties—the United National Congress, the Congress of the People, the National Joint Action Committee and the Tobago Organisation of the People—will tonight reply to the attacks it sustained yesterday from the PNM and ILP at its campaign launch this evening at Harris Promenade, San Fernando. A former coalition partner, the Movement for Social Justice, is contesting seven corporations, but will not be holding a formal campaign launch, MSJ leader David Abdulah said last night in a telephone interview. At the PNM’s rally yesterday, party chairman Franklin Khan put the PNM crowd on notice to prepare, not only for the October 21 local government polls, but also for the upcoming St Joseph by-election, both of which, he said, he was confident PNM would win as well as the next general election.
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley said the youths of Tobago had spoken in the January THA elections—which PNM won—and now: “Trinidad, on October 21, it’s your turn now, this is not Chaguanas West. The battle has become joined. This is Trinidad and everyone has an interest now,” he declared. He said the PP Government was “holding on for dear life now.” Referring to the PP’s advertisements for tonight’s launch, Rowley said the PP had hidden the “cabal” out of sight of the people. He said those pictured in the ad included PP’s Embau Moheni, Errol McLeod and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan. “ ...No Rambachan, no Ramlogan, no Moonilal, no Sharma!—the PP is about deception!” he declared. Saying former UNC chairman Warner had walked out of the PP and formed his own party immediately, Rowley said PP’s Roodal Moonilal recently threatened to “bust” two “marks” on Warner for every “mark” Warner revealed on the PP. Rowley, however, said the two sides cannot be separated. He said: “Both sides of the cabal know what the other is guilty of. They are a mutual protection society; ‘if you don’t say anything about me, I won’t say anything about you.’ “But I say to Jack Warner, you could jump high, you could jump low—you are all the same, all the same peas in the same pod—you have damaged T&T and you will be kicked out of office!”
Rowley said the UNC has been very bad, “But the COP has been worse: it has upheld every wrongdoing of the UNC, yet they pretend they are T&T’s moral compass. But for people with a compass, you are way off course, you have brought no sobriety to the situation!” Rowley noted the PNM’s opponents in five corporation is the COP. “But the COP is dead come October 21,” he said. He acccused the PP of corruption “with COP’s full support” and of passing the Section 34 clause when the COP presided over the matter. He also warned former St Joseph MP Herbert Volney that the PNM was coming to clean St Joseph of his footprint. Rowley said the public had an opportunity on October 21 to use their index finger and rectify many issues with the PP Government, including those who had lost jobs and people with concerns on crime and the Section 34 issue. He described National Security Minister Gary Griffith as a “clown, the court jester.” “...Griffith wasting Parliament time on Reshmi (Ramnarine) and we’re depending on him to defend us from criminal activity in T&T? You have a chance to rectify that on October 21,” he added. Rowley said the PNM local government plans include copying the executive council model used by the THA in Tobago.
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