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Jack: Sandy must withdraw now

By Elizabeth Williams Tobago Bureau

People's National Movement (PNM) candidate for Scarborough/Calder Hall Orville London and PNM candidate for Roxborough/ Delaford Hilton Sandy must withdraw from the 2013 THA elections now," Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) leader Ashworth Jack said yesterday.

This, despite an apology from Sandy on Tuesday, after statements perceived to be racist were made by him at a PNM political meeting Sunday in Delaford. Sandy suggested if his constituents did not vote for the PNM, East Indians would move to Tobago and take over, and that a ship from Calcutta was waiting to sail to Tobago pending the outcome of the THA elections.

"I am now declaring that Mr Sandy based on the statement is racist, and therefore Mr Sandy has no place in public life. He should not be running for public life," Jack said.

Sandy has since apologised, but Jack has not accepted it as being sincere.  

Speaking with reporters at TOP Headquarters in Scarborough, Jack also said the statements made by Sandy were nothing new to the PNM. He called for the election race to be free of racist statements.

Jack said the entire PNM Tobago membership should apologise for the statement made by Sandy, since they all applauded him following his speech in Delaford, and even felt he should train the younger candidates in his footsteps.

"Well I think  what Mr Sandy did is that he reflected the views of the PNM. It is not an isolated view. I am quite sure that you all will know that in the last couple of months anybody who says they did not know, is playing the proverbial ostrich."

Jack is also calling for the resignation of THA Chief Secretary and candidate for Scarborough/Calder Hall  London.

"I am saying they should not be candidates at all if that is the way they feel. This is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial society, multi-religious. The very national anthem of this country speaks of togetherness when it says, 'Every creed and race should find an equal place'."

TOP chairman Lionel Coker also called for London and Sandy to withdraw from the elections. He described the Calcutta statements as foolish.

"The TOP further categorically condemns these two leaders and states they have forfeited their right to be candidates in the upcoming elections."

Coker said it seemed stupidity was a contagious disease within the PNM leadership.

In addition, Coker said PNM supporters were defacing posters of the TOP, whose members are also receiving threats. He called for the acts of vandalism to stop immediately.

"The TOP categorically condemns these acts of violence and barbarism and warns that such individuals and uncivilised behaviour must never be allowed to flourish in Tobago."

TOP candidate for Roxborough/Delaford Anslem Richards said Sandy's  statements were a true reflection of the PNM in the THA election.

"As a matter of fact he went to the home of my mother-in-law, not knowing it's my mother-in-law and made the very same statement to her, and in my first political statement on the campaign I called him out on his statement."

Richards said the God of the TOP is not a sleeping God, and what the PNM has hidden in darkness is coming to light.

"So the statement at Delaford is just a revelation of the foundation of the strategy of the PNM in the election, to divide the society among the lines of race."

Richards said Sandy was an embarrassment to the country and could not represent this country on the international stage.

"I hereby call on the PNM to ask Mr Sandy to step out of the race. Just imagine he is the Deputy Chief Secretary of the THA, how can he represent Trinidad and Tobago on any international forum. From the time he appears they see the ship from Calcutta."

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