Rowley: Kamla bows to public pressure
Local government elections...
Joel Julien email@example.com
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar bowed to “public pressure and derision” when she announced that local government elections will be held within its constitutional timeframe, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday.
Rowley made the statement in response to Persad-Bissessar’s announcement on Tuesday that “win, lose or draw” the local government elections would not be postponed.
The elections are constitutionally due on or before October 26.
Earlier this month, following the United National Congress (UNC) loss to the Jack Warner-led Independent Liberal Party (ILP) in the Chaguanas West by-election, Persad-Bissessar said discussions were ongoing to decide whether the local government elections should be postponed.
“What we were cautioning about is that government ministers were shamelessly looking for a reason to justify their intention to postpone the (local government) election. They have now bowed to public pressure and derision. The public pressure and derision which they faced, they had to back away from the attempt to postpone the election,” Rowley said.
“There was an intention to look for a reason to postpone it, and that has been soundly rejected by the population, so any intention on the part of the Government to do so has now been shelved,” he said.
Rowley said Persad-Bissessar made a promise in 2010 to ensure that the local government election would be held when it is constitutionally due, and therefore her statement on Tuesday was “not news”.
“What is news is that they have failed to find and to carry out their attempt to postpone it,” Rowley said.
Rowley said the presentation of the national budget on September 9 coincides with the date the local government election is to be announced, and the budget would therefore be used as a “launching pad” for that election campaign.
“Clearly there is a link between those dates and the Minister of Finance. I have been watching him very closely, and he has said that the budget is in fact a political tool,” Rowley said.
The budget being used as a campaign tool for the election, however, would not help the People’s Partnership Government, he said.
“This Government has collapsed and I don’t think they can be saved by a budget or budgets. The population has seen them for what they are and now they will be treated accordingly,” Rowley said.
Rowley said the People’s National Movement was ready for the election.
“We have been preparing for local government elections, and therefore we are as ready as required,” he said.