Thursday, January 18, 2018

Marlene: Clear the air, is ex-convict a PNM councillor?

LOCAL Government Minister Senator Marlene Coudray has called on the People’s National Movement (PNM) to clear the air on whether one of their councillors is a deportee who served jail time overseas.

Coudray made the statement during her contribution to the debate on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the Upper House last night.

Coudray said the PNM was in no moral position to question the trustworthiness of the People’s Partnership Government.

“I want the leadership of the PNM to tell this country whether a candidate was put up for local government election who is a deportee from North America,” Coudray said. 

“They need to tell us this because they are talking about trust; they went to people’s homes all over that electoral district and asked to vote for this person, and my information is this person was deported from the United States of America after serving a prison term,” she said.

Coudray questioned whether the PNM was forthright with the electo­rate on this issue.

“Did they tell the people of that electoral district of the candidate’s past? That deportee is now a councillor representing people in that district,” Coudray said.

“Do we have to put measures in our local government law to deal with people, as we have in the Constitution, in terms of the means by which people must demit office? Do we have to do that for local government? What are you talking about trust? They have violated the trust of the people in that electoral district,” she said.

Coudray said the People’s Partnership Government takes care of all citizens.

“When you have all this out there, do not try to vilify. We have been taking care of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Coudray said.

Coudray questioned Independent Senator David Small’s assertion that we are entering “unchartered waters” with the proposed amendments to the bill.

“He (Small) was saying that this legislation...he had difficulty because it was something new and something not

tried, and I am saying to him what did it take man to go to the moon?” Coudray said.

“We are a small country and we are saying why can’t we lead in terms of brin­ging legislation that will make a difference, that will make a change and that will make sense in our own culture and to our own society. So we should not fear the newness of any measure,” she said.