General election soon
By SEAN DOUGLAS Tuesday, May 20 2014
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Rowley's the man: Supporters of Dr Keith Rowley celebrate his reelection as political leader of the PNM at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday ni...
RE-ELECTED PNM leader, Dr Keith Rowley, has said his party has been re-energised by last Sunday’s internal polls to fight the next general election which he expects to be brought “sooner rather than later”.
In his victory speech at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain at 11.20 pm last Sunday, said the party elections have activated party members (ahead of the next general election) whom he now urged to attend a protest against Government policies on Friday in the capital.
“From tomorrow (yesterday) May 19, the PNM begins to prepare in earnest for a general election which we expect sooner than later. As the political leader undisputed in the PNM, I want to call on all PNM members and supporters and all right-thinking citizens to make the next step on Friday and come out to Woodford Square and let us all together band as one people responsible to our nation in defence of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said. “I’m inviting all citizens to come out and take a stand on Friday to save Trinidad and Tobago from this reckless and dangerous Government.”
Rowley spoke when figures from 31 constituencies showed him far ahead of challenger, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson by a factor of about 13-to-one.
Asked about the membership list during the election, he said some persons’ names should not be on the list (due to death), and there were a small number whose names should be on it, but the list of an estimated 81,000 members was a good approximation. Inviting people to join the party, he said the list is a creature of growth.
“Approximately 20,000 persons would have taken part in this process and I think that’s a huge step forward. I want to congratulate all the members who took part in the party’s business and once again the PNM is setting the standard of how we conduct business.”
Asked about Beckles-Robinson, he said, “Every person who offered himself or herself for office should be congratulated and thanked, and their input contribute to the energy that went into this campaign that mobilised this party. We are now a party in resurgence to take on all comers.
We are now prepared for battle as we gird our loins and move forward.”
Newsday asked if prevalent fear, the high murder-rate, which includes the killing of Dana Seetahal SC, and two fiery street protests made the country too unstable for an Opposition protest?
“It is precisely for those reasons why we should come out and demonstrate that we are dissatisfied with the level of insecurity in the country,” he argued. “The level of corruption, the level of incompetence, the level of arrogance, every good reason why you should come out and demonstrate.
To do otherwise is to indicate to the Government that you are either not concerned or that you are helpless.”
He said people should not be timid but show their feelings to the Government.
“We expect to stay well within the borders of the law, in this peaceful demonstration where the PNM stands toe to toe with the rest of the citizens of this country,” he said.
Had he ever tried to stop two recent fiery protests in upset communities?
“I was personally involved in calming the anger and emotions (in Bagatelle), until the police were able to get hold of the situation, so if the need arises our MPs...Mr (Colm) Imbert was there last week. We are discharging our responsibilities.
That in no way prevents us as citizens from demonstrating to the Government that we are dissatisfied with the broad spectrum of mismanagement that now pervades Trinidad and Tobago - the corruption, secrecy, waste, arrogance.”
He hit the Government on the prison litigation probes, and the $1 billion Beetham waste-water plant.