Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Moonilal: PP to keep close eye on PNM
Now that the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) has been given a sound trouncing in the local government elections, Housing and Urban Development Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal says the People’s Partnership will now target the People’s National Movement. Admitting defeat to the PNM yesterday, Moonilal said Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley can be assured that the PP would be keeping a close eye on him.
He said so at Friendship Village where his Oropouche East constituency office donated more than 150 chairs to the Friendship Village Masjid and the Rama Krishna Mandir. “Well, it was a very tough election for us,” he said. “As you know, in a three-party election, it is always very difficult. “We said before elections and we say it after elections, that the PNM is never a victim of a three-party struggle. The PNM emerged victorious, but in my estimation they did not have to campaign. I don’t think they did campaign.
“Our first port of call was to deal with the third party, which was the ILP, and I think we dealt with them in a commendable manner. “Now the PNM is squarely on our radar and we will now meet and treat with the People’s National Movement. They are on our radar and we will now lock onto them with a laser-like precision and we will move towards the general elections.”
Explaining the shift of focus away from the ILP to the PNM, Moonilal said because of the ILP’s heavy defeat at the polls, he doubts it would make any more inroads into politics. “I don’t think they will pose further problems. In fact, I was amazed that Mr Warner said the COP was dead. The COP got four seats and he got three and the COP contested less councils than he did.
“So I don’t think that the ILP will make much more traction, much more inroads. But the St Joseph election will also give us a clue as to what is happening further,” Moonilal said. He said people who now live under PNM-led corporations can expect poor representation and will have to face the consequences of their actions. He said, however, that central government will still meet their needs through the various state agencies.
“They can look forward to poor representation by the People’s National Movement. The central government will meet and treat with the needs of all communities, he said. Responding to calls by Rowley for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to call a general election now, he said, Rowley must be careful about what he asks for. But he will learn in time. “Dr Rowley will get his chance at the title. But what he can be assured of is that we will be keeping a close eye on him.”
After handing over the chairs to the masjid, Moonilal said his office decided to distribute the chairs after the election to avoid the overtone that it was a ploy to get votes. He said the donation was part of his office’s programme to assist all religious organisations within his constituency.
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