Govt promises to take Govt to the people
By Sean Douglas and Richardson Dhalai Monday, September 30 2013
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JACK ARRIVES: ILP interim leaderJack Warner arrives for the presentationof the party's 136 candidates atthe launch of its Local Governmentelections ca...
CHAGUANAS West MP Jack Warner promised to bring Government to the people as he launched the “Presentation of Candidates” for his Independent Liberal Party (ILP) at Endeavour Grounds, Chaguanas, last night.
He said unlike the other two main parties, the People’s National Movement (PNM) and United National Congress (UNC) which had each summoned their prospective candidates for the October 21 Local Government elections to their party headquarters — respectively the PNM’s Balisier House and the UNC’s Rienzi Complex — the ILP had screened potential candidates by travelling to each of Trinidad’s municipal corporations to hold separate screenings.
He hit the other parties as “hierarchical and centralised”.
He said, “Our (ILP) goal is to bring government to you; the others force you to come to government.”
He boasted that unlike the other two main parties that each had a “house” or a complex”, the ILP’s new headquarters is a “home” where supporters will find love and appreciation.
Warner later elaborated on the localisation theme by bemoaning that it is wrong that if a window in a public building in Siparia needs fixing, permission must be sought from Port-of-Spain,in an apparent reference to the Ministry of Local Government.
He urged that local government corporations be empowered to give out houses, CEPEP and URP contracts.
Warner said in just three months of existence, the ILP has made huge strides in the political landscape. By contrast he said the People’s Partnership has already conceded defeat by both its choice of a “cubby hole” to launch its candidate-slate tonight — an apparent reference to Harris Promenade, San Fernando — and by its naming of NJAC deputy leader, Embau Moheni — as a featured speaker at the launch.
Warner said the ILP has screened 516 persons to find candidates for the 136 seats up for grabs in the local elections, including persons willing to give up Canadian and American citizenship. He vowed to fight corruption, by whomever committed, and to let the chips fall where they may.
He also announced that, should they be elected, every ILP councillor would give up their first month’s salary to a charity of their choice and only take home one dollar.
“Every councillor has pledged to give their first month’s salary to a chairty of their choice and only take one dollar,” Warner said adding they were emulating him, their leader, who for the past three and half years has only taken home one dollar for his Chaguanas West MP’s salary.
He said during the campaign he would focus on the candidates, adding the ILP would not expose the “criminal elements” because it was politically expedient but because it was the right thing to do.
Borrowing a phrase from former UNC political leader and Prime Minister, Basdeo Panday, he said the PNM had “already gone through while the COP was now a ‘corpse’”.
Earlier, candidate Chrytsal Charles, of the Sangre Grande North East, speaking on behalf of all candidates, whipped the massive crowd into a frenzy as she began her speech with a song by noting that the youth of the nation had gone ILP.
She said no youth programme nor electronic device could produce upstanding citizens and instead said the nation’s leaders had to lead by example.
“We must lead by example, we must foster in them a sense of identity and so they would not get entangled in the trappings of the world,” she said.
She said the ILP was sending “lifeboats” to the neglected youth of Sangre Grande and throughout the country and promised that they would no longer be treated as “neglected children”.Also addressing the meeting was New Villlage, Point Fortin candidate Kesia Lewis who said she had turned angry like the comic character the Hulk and turned green.
At that moment, a man dressed as Hulk ran across the stage to the delight of the crowd.
Lewis said the people of Point Fortin had been forgotten by the past and present administration and asked where was the long awaited promises of progress for the southern borough.
ILP deputy political leader, Lyndira Oudit, in her remarks, said there was a misdirection of State funding and promised this would not be the case under an ILP council.