The crowd at a joint Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)-Reunited Farmers Alliance (RFA) rally at Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Wednesday. – Photo by Anisto Alves
PEP leader Phillip Edward Alexander said TT needs to be saved from any situation of politics as usual as he presented 47 PEP candidates for the August 14 local government election in conjunction with 11 from the Reunited Farmers Alliance (RFA) led by Davica Thomas.
The presentation of 58 candidates in a PEP/RFA alliance took place on Wednesday night at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. A packed hall of several hundred flag-waving supporters enjoyed dancing by the Shiv Shakti dancers plus a musical message from Devon “Prophet Benjamin” Samuel. Those present nibbled on accra, aloe pies and cheese sandwiches provided free.
The RFA candidates were for the Chaguanas Borough Corporation (eight candidates) and Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (three candidates.)
The PEP candidates were for Arima (four candidates), Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo (one), Diego Martin (four), Mayaro/Rio Claro (one), Penal/Debe (eight), Point Fortin (six), Port of Spain (three), Princes Town (five), San Fernando (one), Sangre Grande (three), San Juan/Laventille (five), Siparia (three) and Tunapuna/Piarco (three.)
PEP leader Phillip Alexander speaks at a joint Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)-Reunited Farmers Alliance (RFA) rally at Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Wednesday. – Photo by Anisto Alves
“We, the people of TT, can no longer accept politics as usual,” Alexander said, “It is killing us.”
He blamed politics for the recent death of a south Trinidad grandmother who was beaten when robbed of her pension and later succumbed to a heart attack.
“It is the politics of ‘someone else will fix it,” Alexander bemoaned, of the alleged current state of TT’s politics.
Holding up his index finger also known as the voting finger, he advised listeners to each use their finger to “riot in the polling booth.”
Alexander said those politicians who saw race as being their political base should come and see the PEP/RFA crowd, likely alluding to its size and composition.
He said all grannies and small children at home were now looking to the PEP/RFA to save TT.
“We’ll do the job the rest never do, without office or funding or access to free media time.”
Alexander thanked various individuals who had helped the PEP/RFA such as by donating and printing jerseys, flags and brochures, saying the coalition had no big financiers.
Saying greed was destroying TT, he wondered why TT had a desalination plant while located in a rainforest climate.
He said annual floods in TT were a bounty from nature that should be captured and stored for future use, yet citizens instead spent money buying water tanks, pumps and bottled water. Alexander hailed Randolph Bharatt, father of murder victim Andrea Bharatt, for his presence.
He said the vision was for all schools to be prestige schools and top treatment for all patients in the public health sector.
Saying TT deserved better than the politics of race and division, he said, “This political movement is the vehicle to take us there.
Local government candidates on stage at a joint Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)-Reunited Farmers Alliance (RFA) rally at Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Wednesday. – Photo by Anisto Alves
“Come out on August 14 and send a message: ‘We are not taking it any more.'”
PEP chairman Felicia Holder said the PEP/RFA did not accept any big financiers.
“We are not waiting until we get into office but are doing it the right way now.
“We are very close to getting over the line. Keep supporting this organisation.”
Exuding a cool, calm and collected demeanour, Holder appealed to anyone seeking a new political option in TT.
“We want you to see the PEP/RFA as the new hope for TT.”
Thomas for the RFA asked listeners if they were fed up of suffering from mosquitoes, bad roads, flooding and theft of their cops.
“How often do you see your councillor?” she asked, then answering herself, “Only election time.”
Thomas said, “The RFA and PEP will bring positive change where things actually work in this country.”