Saturday, February 24, 2018

Govt celebrates today; PNM cries 'crisis'


A CELEBRATION or crisis—those are the opposing views of the Government and the Opposition as the People's Partnership marks one year in office.

While the People's Partnership commemorates its first anniversary in office with a celebratory rally at Chaguanas, the Opposition is taking the opportunity to highlight the mis-steps of the new adminstration at a separate meeting at Diego Martin.

Exactly one year ago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar successfully led the People's Partnership into Government.

A Market Facts and Opinion poll commissioned by the Express has showed that Persad-Bissessar's popularity has slipped by 14 per cent.

And when questioned on whether the Government has been working better in the last months or worse, 28 per cent of the respondents said better, 49 per cent said the same and 23 per cent said things have gotten worse.

The People's Partnership defeated the People's National Movement (PNM) 29/12 in the general election May 24, last year.

And starting from 6.30 p.m. today the People's Partnership will be celebrating its first year in office with a ceremony at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas.

The leaders of the five coalition parties forming the People's Partnership are all expected to be present at today's event.

Persad-Bissessar, the political leader of the United National Congress (UNC), Finance Minister Winston Dookeran, the political leader of the Congress of the People (COP), Ashworth Jack, political leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP), Labour Minister Errol McLeod, political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and Makandal Daaga, chief servant of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) are all expected to address the parties faithful.

"An era of caring has begun. A celebration of our achievements," an advertisement for the event has stated.

Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner, chairman of the UNC, and youth speaker Nicholas Morris, are also scheduled to speak.

Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan are expected to jointly chair the proceedings.

Entertainment is expected to be provided by Orange Sky's lead vocalist Nigel Rojas, Anil Bheem and the BMRZ band, 2011 Young King Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc and Digicel 2010 Rising Star Neval Chatelal among others.

And while the People's Partnership celebrates its first year in office, the Opposition PNM will be hosting a public meeting at the car park of the Starlite Shopping Plaza, Diego Martin.

"One year after, how you feel," a release from the PNM stated yesterday.

The "Balisier Brigade" will be hosting a meeting "on the crisis facing our nation" at the Starlite Shopping Plaza from 7.30 p.m., the release stated.

Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley, Opposition Member of Parliament Dr Amery Browne, and Senators Pennelope Beckles-Robinson and Faris Al Rawi are expected to address the party faithful.

They are expected to address "the mismanagement of the economy, the crime wave, blatant nepotism, labour unrest, rising unemployment, scandal after scandal and the rampant corruption under the UNC coalition," the release from the PNM stated.

"Wear something red and let us continue the journey to bring good governance back in our beloved country under the People's National Movement," the release stated.

Questioned about the timing of the two meetings Housing Minister Moonilal said:

"I understand (today) the People's Partnership will be having an anniversary rally discussing our achievements and I understand they (the PNM) are having a meeting somewhere to discuss their lack of achievement so there are two different meetings."

"All I can say is that for persons in Port of Spain and so on be wary that you will have a problem (this) evening with public transportation because all the maxi taxis and so on have been booked to go to Mid-Centre mall so we are also telling persons who are working to try their best at the end of their day work to reach home as quickly as possible because public transport will be booked maxis in particular to go to mid centre mall so it will be quite an interesting evening," he said.