Kamla offers election goodies at Quinam/Morne Diablo campaign launch

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. – File photo

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar told UNC supporters to use the by-elections in the Quinam/Morne Diablo and Lengua/Indian Walk electoral districts as a precursor for general elections.

She asserted the importance of winning the two local government districts on June 17 at the UNC’s campaign launch for Quinam/Morne Diablo on June 1.

“Elections have consequences, this is why these by-elections matter. We must teach the PNM a lesson.”

Persad-Bissessar used the platform to deliver promises of affordable, quality housing, reduced cost of foreign-used vehicles, the full restoration of the GATE programme, opening of the Debe University campus and the Couva Children’s Hospital, if the UNC was elected to government in 2025.

Persad-Bissessar told supporters for these promises to become reality, they “must give the PNM no oxygen, no fuel.”

The People’s National Movement candidate for the Quinam/Morne Diablo is Anderson Nanan. The UNC’s candidate is Sarah Sookdeo.

In the Lengua/Indian Walk district, Nicole Gopaul will do battle against the PNM’s Autly Granthume.

“When I look at the state of this country today under this regime, it truly breaks my heart. Like you, I too can hardly recognise the country I left as prime minister. It literally feels like we’ve been thrown back in time,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“The economy is in shambles and our citizens are being forced to bear the brunt of it. This Government is broke. Under this Government, our country is on the brink of utter collapse and destruction.”

Painting a dismal picture of the state of the nation in the form of “runaway crime, rampant government corruption, massive unemployment, poverty, high food prices, children being gunned down daily, unprecedented, brutal, sadistic abuse of women and children,” she questioned “the shamelessness of the PNM to come and ask for your votes.”

In Quinam/Morne Diablo, she said, residents are starved for water, and consider themselves lucky if they get water twice a month.

“This is why it is very important to come out and vote for your UNC candidate Sarah Sookdeo, because a vote for the UNC is for people-centred policies that will return our country and citizens to economic stability and peace.”

She also promised under a UNC government easy access to legal firearms for law-abiding citizens and a stand-your-ground law to deal with the crime situation.

She also promised to reopen the Petrotrin refinery, which has been shuttered since 2018; the removal of value-added tax on 7,000 food items, free laptops for all secondary schoolchildren and tablets for primary schoolchildren, free universal kindergarten education and police officers being posted at schools.

“What we are seeing in schools is not bullying, but actually violent crime,” she said.