Opposition on local govt changes: PNM running scared

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Photo courtesy Office of Parliament

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the announcement of the extension of the current terms of local government officers by one year, which can have the effect of delaying elections by a year, shows that the PNM and the Prime Minister are running scared of the electorate. She called on Dr Rowley to call local government elections (LGE) now.

In a release on Thursday following the announcement by Rural Development and Local Government Faris Al-Rawi that the term of all councillors and aldermen currently in office would be extended to December 3, 2023, Persad-Bissessar said the PNM regularly delayed local government elections.

“Dr Rowley’s move to partially proclaim certain parts of the local government legislation to extend the term of current elected representatives is in keeping with the draconian and undemocratic nature of this PNM regime.

“It is in the PNM’s DNA to delay local government elections. Former PM Patrick Manning denied people their democratic rights for almost a decade. It was only under a UNC-led Government with Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP as prime minister were local government elections finally called.

“Dr Rowley like Mr Manning knows that the citizens of TT are eagerly awaiting the LGEs to show their discontent with this unlawful, corrupt and incompetent PNM regime and to send a clear message that they want a return to good governance.

“Having destroyed the economic and social fabric of our nation and, now, coupled with the attacks on the liberty of our Constitution with Nelsongate, Rowley knows the PNM has collapsed in office and are on the cusp of being booted out.”

The Opposition Leader called on the Prime Minister to call the LGE so the voice of the people could be heard.

Al-Rawi said the additional year would allow the implementation of the local government legislative reform package.