Sunday, February 18, 2018

Suruj: Govt should analyse results from a Tobago perspective

The People's Partnership Government will have to analyse the results of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections from the perspective of the people of Tobago.

This was stated yesterday by Minister of Local Government Dr Surujrattan Rambachan.

Asked if he felt the writing was on the wall for the People's Partnership Government (going into a Local Government election and a general election in 2015), following its defeat on Monday, Rambachan focused his response on the Tobago electorate, saying the results must be analysed from a Tobago perspective.

"We must ask what did the people of Tobago vote for? Was it for corruption? Was it the abuse of $22 billion? And whether they got value for this. Was it for the cost overruns on projects?" he asked.

Rambachan said the issue of racial division remained and that the Orville London administration had to deal with this. This was in reference to the "Calcutta ship" statement made by Hilton Sandy, former deputy THA leader, during the campaign. Sandy won his seat.

"If it is that (Ashworth) Jack's team was proposing internal self-government and it was a key platform issue and London voted against it, and the Leader of the PNM said he did not support this bill, then we must analyse, from a Tobago perspective, what is it they voted for.

"To me, the issues have not gone away in terms of claims against the Orville-led administration," he said.

Asked if he was surprised by the clean sweep by the PNM 12-0, he said: "I have come to expect anything in an election."

He said he was confident the People's Partnership administration had kept its promise in terms of what it has done for the people of Tobago.

As to preparation for the upcoming Local Government elections, Rambachan said: "We are always on the preparation road for elections. We are focusing on the reoganisation of our constituencies."

He said the moment the last term ends, on July 26, the Government can determine the date for new elections.

According to Rambachan, the Government was constantly working, since politics was about constantly campaigning.

"We are constantly in touch with our Local Government constituents, and over the last months we have completed at least two walkabouts throughout our constituencies."