PEP: PNM, UNC have failed Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Political leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) Phillip Alexander speaks at political rally at Palmiste Park after a motorcade on Saturday. – Lincoln Holder

PROGRESSIVE Empowerment Party (PEP) political leader Phillip Edward Alexander said TT is a failed state because of political parties such as the PNM and the UNC.

He declared that only the PEP provided the country with any real hope for a better future.

Alexander made the comments at a PEP public meeting at Palmiste Park on Saturday.

PEP supporters at a political rally at Palmiste Park on Saturday. – Lincoln Holder

The meeting came at the end of a PEP motorcade which started in Debe and passed through some of the surrounding communities.

Alexander declared, “We are an absolutely failed state.”

He said every single political party that had been in government had been part of creating a culture where politics “is all about theft.”

Alexander said, unlike other political parties contesting the local government elections on August 14, the PEP did not have any significant financial war chest to draw down on.

He claimed, because of that and the party’s campaign from the ground up, larger parties like the PNM and UNC viewed PEP as a threat in the elections.

“PEP is the hope for a better TT.”

Alexander boasted that PEP was the only viable political party to emerge from the now-defunct Third Force political movement which included former Senate president Timothy Hamel-Smith and former police commissioner Gary Griffith.

Alexander claimed Hamel-Smith’s HOPE party did not resonate with anyone.

Alexander said Griffith’s National Transformation Alliance (NTA) has shown itself not to be a credible political entity because of its alliance with the UNC for the local government elections.

The PEP turned down an offer by the UNC to form a political alliance for the elections.

The UNC, NTA and the Movement for National Development (MND) have formed an alliance for the elections.

PEP and a new party, the Reunited Farmers Alliance (RFA) have formed their own alliance to contest the elections.

Alexander boasted that outside of the PNM and UNC, the PEP-RFA alliance was fielding the third highest number of candidates, 61.

PEP leader Phillip Alexander and party executives at a political rally at Palmiste Park on Saturday. – Lincoln Holder

The PNM and UNC have 141 and 110 candidates respectively.

Alexander said the PEP declined the invitation to form an alliance with the UNC because it was a politically irrelevant entity.

“The PEP is not on stunts. The UNC needs office to be relevant.”

Alexander said because the party believed the PNM and UNC were equally to blame for the ills of the country, PEP would not join forces with either of them under any circumstances.

He claimed that bot parties feared the PEP because “we are a threat to the cocaine contract mafia that has destroyed this country.”

Alexander alleged that, over time, politicians had either left one party or another and become involved in questionable activities because they understand how flaws in the system could benefit them.

Unlike those parties, Alexander promised that a PEP government would address critical issues in TT such as water, crime and education.

He said it was unacceptable that 250,000 people could have been left without water for about three days because of a leaking 48-inch water transmission line at the Water and Sewerage Authority’s Caroni water treatment plant.

A PEP activist hands out flyers during a motorcade and political rally at Palmiste Park on Saturday. – Lincoln Holder

Alexander said one solution to solve such a problem was to create water retention ponds near the Diego Martin River and provide that water to water-starved communities.

He claimed that no other political party would advance solutions like that.

“They want you to be labourers and consumers.”

Alexander said the PEP would hold more motorcades and meetings throughout TT in the coming days.

“We will get bigger. We will get stronger.”