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Kamla: I said Rowley couldn’t lead

Published: 
Friday, September 8, 2017

Most Government ministers were mum yesterday on negative ratings received by their administration and leader in their second year of office - but the Opposition wasn’t silent.

For yesterday’s second anniversary of the PNM Government, a poll by T&T Guardian-commissioned pollster Louis Bertrand, of HHB and Associates Limited, showed 83 per cent of respondents believe T&T is going the wrong way.

The poll also showed that 32 per cent of respondents approved of the job Dr Keith Rowley was doing as Prime Minister, in comparison to 43 per cent approval for Kamla Persad-Bissessar as Opposition Leader.

“Two years ago, Dr (Keith) Rowley convinced T&T that he could lead our country. I warned the country he had no plan and no ideas,” Persad-Bissessar said via statement after low ratings on the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government were unveiled in the media.

“As a former prime minister myself, I can confirm the job does not allow you to just fly off without serious consideration as to what is happening here at any given time.”

Persad-Bissessar was particularly alluding to Rowley’s absence from T&T. The PM is in the US for medical check-ups and is due home Monday, and so missed the ratings and polls.

However, feedback from within his administration was minimal yesterday. The usual weekly post-Cabinet media briefing (where some Ministers are often available) wasn’t held yesterday.

Acting PM Colm Imbert also didn’t immediately reply to queries on the poll, nor did PNM deputy leader Rohan Sinanan. Other frontline Ministers said they didn’t see the poll as they’d been in Cabinet all day yesterday and several PNM party officials referred queries to “... Government people.”

However, the T&T Guardian was able to confirm some Ministers did exchange brief conversations on the polls/ratings after Cabinet ended.

But Persad-Bissessar accused Rowley of “running away whilst the nation is in crisis.”

“Dr Rowley would be very aware of the questions he would face from the media, pollsters and the society on his second anniversary in Government. Well the polls are out, the media are asking questions and the society is speaking out - and as planned, he’s absent. The Prime Minister has run away.”

She said it was clear to the UNC, “as it was to many of the high-ranking members of his own party two years ago, that the man lacked the compassion, leadership skills ​and vision to move T&T forward.”

“Two years later, 75 per cent of the nation thinks the Government has failed because of runaway crime, that Dr Rowley has chosen to put citizens on the bread line by cutting jobs instead of diversifying the economy. Two years later, Dr Rowley has taken the country in the wrong direction, because of his incompetence as a leader - and now he’s run away while T&T is in crisis.”