Local government elections will be held before the end of October when it is constitutionally due.
This was stated yesterday by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who said she was acting against the wishes of several Cabinet colleagues who wanted a postponement.
She was speaking with members of the media at her constituency office in Penal, where she met with members of the Lady Hochoy Home.
Persad-Bissessar said, “The local government elections will be held within the time-frame set by law. There will be no postponement of the elections. Some people felt that we should postpone it. I am not of that view. I believe we owe it to the electorate.”
Persad-Bissessar said a promise was made to the electorate during the general election of 2010.
“We had always said that we would hold elections when they are due and it is my intention to do so,” she said.
Asked if she was ready for the local government election, Persad-Bissessar said, “That is what the party is for. I think it is more important to have integrity in things we profess, in things we put out, in things we say. That is more important.”
She added, “Win, lose or draw, we must keep the promises we made to the people and the rest will fall into place.”
Asked about the state of readiness of the United National Congress (UNC) to fight the election, Persad-Bissessar said, “I am not of the view that we should postpone. There are some within my own organisation that think we should, even within the Cabinet, that think we should postpone, but I don’t think. ... Look, when you came in (to government) you said you will do one, two, three. And those are the things we are doing.”
She said Cabinet was at this time considering amendments to the local government legislation, details of which she planned to share.
“But I do not think reform should stop the process because reform will continue,” she added.
She noted that during the last People’s National Movement administration, there was a three year postponement of the election due to reform.
She also said that after the Chaguanas West by-election victory by Jack Warner, “all the MPs (Members of Parliament) got a lesson, and all MPs are back out on the ground. They became very concerned, dealing with governance and forgot the ground. And they are back out on the ground”.
Persad-Bissessar said this was not campaigning but “what we should do as MPs”.