Rowley rejects PM’s call for national unity
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has rejected the Prime Minister’s olive branch for a united approach to building a nation.
Last Thursday, in announcing her third Cabinet reshuffle, Persad-Bissessar called on Opposition groups to work with her.
“It matters less to me whether decisions taken in your interest are inimical to my own political future. Let history judge me as being a leader who loved you more than she did pursuit of office. And in this regard, I hold out an olive branch to all opposition groups to work with me in making a difference to the very nation they aspire to lead. In this regard, there will be no losers, only the country wins, only the people benefit,” she said.
“...If Mandela persuaded forgiveness and unity for the good of South Africa, if Gandhi demonstrated the power of non-violence in India, if Martin Luther King could have birthed a dream for a different America, why can’t Daaga, Ramadhar, Rowley, Warner, London, Kamla, or any other, embrace the same noble aspirations for the good of all who follow us?” she added.
Rowley, speaking on the Municipal Corporations Amendment Bill, 2013, at the
Parliament sitting, at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, provoked laughter from the Opposition benches as he mocked the Prime Minister.
He said in 2011, he wrote to Persad-Bissessar following a spate of murders in Arima, saying the Opposition was prepared to work with the Government in the crime fight—which she rejected and instead called a State of Emergency.
“In the meantime, things have gotten from bad to worse. I was shocked to see the Prime Minister, the same Prime Minister talking about her desire...left to her alone, she would have a Government of national unity with London and Rowley and Warner,” said Rowley.
“Well, she could speak for Warner, she could speak for Dookeran, she could speak for the cabal, but the PNM (People’s National Movement) will have nothing to do with that. What we want, we want you all out of the way so we can begin to take responsibility for this country and rectify the damage that you have done,” he added.