Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rowley: Showing Trinidad the way

DR. Keith Rowley

Mark Fraser

“GOVERNING with no opposition is going to be difficult.”

This was the admonition of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley last night to the Orville London-led People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago House of Assembly (THA) following victory in the elections last night.

Rowley, the political leader of the PNM, made the statement at the party's Tobago headquarters after the THA election results.

London, the political leader of the PNM's Tobago Council, secured his fourth term as THA Chief Secretary last night by securing victory in all 12 of the THA electoral districts.

“To go up for a fourth term and to end up with a clean sweep must say something about Orville London,” Rowley said.

Rowley said the clean sweep, however, has to be taken with sober reflection.

“Governing with no opposition is going to be difficult because you tend to want to feel that you have all the answers and that you are doing everything right and sometimes you are too close to the woods to see the trees,” Rowley said.

Rowley said the THA election results showed that the Tobago electorate rejected the People's Partnership.

“Once again, Tobago has lit the candle to show Trinidad and Tobago the way,” Rowley said.

Apart from praising London on his “feat”, Rowley also singled out the effort of Sheldon Cunningham and Ancil Dennis.

Cunningham defeated TOP political leader Ashworth Jack in the Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah electoral district.

The PNM never won the Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah electoral district before, Rowley said.

Rowley also praised Ancil Dennis who won the Buccoo/Mt Pleasant electoral district.

“There are those who said we sent a boy to do a man's job. Ancil Dennis tonight is told he is a man among men,” Rowley said.

Rowley spoke after London gave his victory speech.

London lamented that the THA election caused “polarisation” between the Tobago electorate, with reports of several politically motivated spats.

“And the very thing we must do is to understand that we are people of Tobago first and people of a political party after,” London said.

“And therefore we must accept that this was a very polarising campaign, this was a campaign that I think there were a number of incidents, a number of situations that were unfortunate but we shall not allow that polarisation, that divisiveness to mark us and to brand us going forward. We have to understand that from tonight the election is over, all the people have spoken and all the people must work together for the benefit of all the people,” he said.

“And I want to give the people of Tobago the assurance and that is why I wore this colour shirt, it is not red ... and it signifies the transition between Orville London, the politician and Orville London, the chief secretary,” he said.

London wore a maroon coloured shirt. He said he felt “humbled, challenged and inspired all at the same time” with the election results.

London called on the central government to provide the $625 million being owed to the THA.