Kamla calls for boycott of meeting with PM

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar – Photo Marvin Hamilton

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar instructed United National Congress (UNC) councillors and chairmen on Monday night to boycott the meeting the Prime Minister has summoned them to attend at 9 am on Tuesday.

Speaking at her party’s Monday night Virtual Report, Persad-Bissessar dismissed the invitation as nothing but a “hypocritical public-relations gimmick,” just months before the local government elections.

She said Rowley had nothing to offer them after seven years of ignoring their cries for funds and tools to improve their communities.

“I will be very disappointed to see you sitting there like little fowls in a yard. Yes, sit down there like, ‘Oh, wow, amazing, the PM is speaking with me.’

“He will not speak, he will buff, as you have seen. That is what he does with everybody.

“Make me proud tomorrow. Boycott that forum. Stay home. Stay in Penal, stay in Mayaro, stay in Sangre Grande, stay wherever you are and look after the people in your districts, because they will not do it. They have never done it.”

Dr Rowley has invited both UNC and People’s National Movement councillors and chairmen of the 14 regional corporations to meet with him at Park Plaza on Tuesday. The meeting is expected to discuss local government reform.

A suspicious Persad-Bissessar questioned the PM’s agenda, saying, “Seven years you there, you ever talk to one local government person? You think we are all fools.

“On the eve of a local government election you want to come and talk to local government councillors? For what? What are you coming to say?”

She told her audience, which included two councillors, who chaired the meeting, “Don’t be fools, people. All of us make mistakes, but we must not be fools all the time.”

She argued, “That entire exercise is not to tell you anything. It is not for you to ask anything. That is a total PR stunt.”

All over the country, she said, there was flooding, “road, infrastructure, everything gone through – but he wants you to come and sit down and listen to him for an hour. Hope some of you smart and do the right thing.”

For those who wanted to hear what the PM had to say, she advised, “You could read it in the papers tomorrow.

“Don’t give him an audience. He cannot fire you, remember that. You can fire him, but he cannot fire you.

“Don’t feel when he calls you must go running, because when you were crying and begging in your communities for help –Penal/Debe: no diesel; Siparia: no equipment; Mayaro – all these corporations – you got nothing, nothing, nothing.”