Kamla Persad-Bissessar –
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said she will do all she can to get the PNM out of power legally.
She urged the UNC to be strong and courageous in the lead-up to the next general election.
Speaking during the party’s Monday Night Report at the Macaulay Community Centre, Claxton Bay, Persad-Bissessar criticised the PM and his ministers for not outlining any plans, policies, or programmes at a PNM public meeting in Barataria on Thursday.
“Crime is at an all-time high: murders, home invasions, robberies, rape, double and triple murders, joblessness, homelessness, high fuel and food prices, school violence, crumbling infrastructure, forex shortages, high utility bills, business bankruptcies and more are occurring in this country.
“Rowley addressed none of those issues. Instead, he chose to spew hate, anger and vitriol at everyone opposed to him.
“Imagine, Rowley spoke for almost two hours, and not one single plan, policy or programme he took time to talk about.”
She said behaviour like the PM’s contributed to the high levels of crime and school violence.
“And they act surprised when Rowley himself, the one who was crying and weeping that the Office of the Prime Minister deserves respect, resorts to the vilest and most disrespectful behaviour for the entire world to see. Remember ‘Meet me on the pavement?’ The schoolchildren are meeting each other on the pavement.
“Yes, I throw picong too, but there is a difference between picong and what Rowley did on that platform. I have no problem with receiving and giving some picong and jokes, everyone loves humour, but Rowley is known to resort to this type of crass, hateful behaviour.”
Persad-Bissessar called for an investigation into the rebuilding of Balisier House, the PNM’s headquarters, and again asked where the funds were coming from.
She said the UNC had called for investigations into allegations made against members of the party.
“When accusations were made against the UNC, we called for investigations. Over two weeks now and not one person has brought an iota of evidence of human trafficking against any UNC MP. The discredited accusers have only embarrassed and humiliated themselves further. No evidence. Where is the evidence?”
She said the PNM saw education and training as a waste of time.
“How many schools, preschools, NESC, UTT, MIC buildings have been left unfinished or shut down?
“Education should be lifelong. Consider its potential value. Consider industry and business. In this new world, knowledge is power, information is the opportunity, and technology can make it happen if we use it effectively and plan for the future.
“Are we genuinely proud of our culture today – drugs, crime, and bored, uneducated teenagers loitering on street corners? This government has no plan to provide the necessary education and training required for the future generations.”
Persad-Bissessar said the state was failing in its first duty, to provide safety and security for its people.
“The best three crime-prevention measures are a stable family, good education or training and a stable job. Strong families are the foundation of strong communities. Every aspect of policy must be examined to see how we can strengthen and keep families together – in welfare, work, and education – and there is something quite tangible we might do in housing.”
The Opposition Leader said the upcoming election will not be a contest for political power, but “a war for a nation’s soul.”