PNM MPs urge voters: Stand your ground against UNC

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PNM supporters at the party’s rally at Constantine Park, Macoya on Saturday. – Anisto Alves

PNM general secretary Foster Cummings on Saturday urged supporters to reject outright Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s call for the introduction of stand-your-ground legislation as a mechanism to enable citizens to protect themselves. They urged voters to stand their ground against the UNC.

The law gives someone who believes their life is in danger the right to use force, including deadly force in self-defence.

Addressing the PNM’s final rally at Constantine Park, Macoya, ahead of Monday’s local government election, Cummings said the Ministry of National Service and Youth Development, which he leads, was conceptualised by the Prime Minister to help develop the country’s young people.

“But what has the leader of the Opposition been saying to the people? Have you listened to her lately? It is such an embarrassment.

“Whilst we are saying ‘Young people, educate yourself, develop yourself, she has been saying, ‘Load up the ‘matic, charge up the gun, buss a shot.

“We reject wholeheartedly, the reckless behaviour of the Leader of the Opposition and we say to our young people, ‘Put down the guns, resist violence. Violence will never work.”

The La Horquetta/Talparo MP urged supporters to “Reject Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the UNC in all its forms, whether they in yellow, whether they in blue, whether they in green, black or otherwise.”

PNM chairman Stuart Young and lady vice chairman Camille Robinson-Regis, in their addresses, sought to dispel claims the ruling party had no policies and campaigned for the interests of financiers.

Young, the Energy Minister, said the PNM is the only party that campaigned on policy.

“Throughout this campaign, the only party that is putting forward 141 candidates delivered on policy. You all never heard the PNM in the last few weeks do anything but talk about the policy of what local government reform is going to do for every citizen of Trinidad.”

Young added, “Whilst the others were busy with their old talk and their personalised attacks on members of the PNM, we showed the people of Trinidad that we are a serious party and we always come with policy to better our people.”

For instance, the Port of Spain North/St Ann’s East MP said residents in Couva and other parts of central Trinidad complained that they had been forgotten by their UNC councillors.

“In Sangre Grande, all you are hearing from the people on the ground is how the UNC councillors engaged in corruption. That is not what you hear about the PNM. What you are hearing form the PNM is what we are going to deliver to all of you.”

Young said the new local government reform promises more autonomy for corporations to improve amenities in communities.

He urged supporters to not take anything for granted.

“We seen the vile behaviour of those on the other side. We have seen them lie to the public. We have seen them attack our leader and others who are in our leadership and we must reject that. Because one thing the People’s National Movement does is always what is best for the people and best for the country.”

Meanwhile, Robinson-Regis also assured the party’s candidates were not selected on the basis of “nepotism, friendship or favouritism or because a financier put them there.”

She said they were selected “because we know that they will not shy away from hard work and we know that they will represent you effectively.”

Robinson-Regis, the Housing Minister, said the local government reform promises a full-time council, more jobs, more resources and timely responses to issues affecting communities.

“Local government reform is the truest form of representation, which is why the selection of our candidates is important. We took our time to select the best of the best, to represent you, the best of Trinidad in this election.”

The Arouca/Maloney MP told the gathering to reject the UNC in Monday’s poll.

“Stand your ground against the enemy. Stand your ground against mayhem. Stand your ground against madness. It is only the PNM who will protect you children’s future, who will protect women.”