|Call election now |
By CAROL MATROO Saturday, May 24 2014
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Farmer in town: PNM Senator Avinash Singh, a potato farmer, drives a tractor with a sign "Madam Prime Minister will you allow food to be bulldozed", d...
There has been a united call for the People’s Partnership (PP) to step down and for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to call an election now.
This was the call made by president general of the Oilfields’ Workers Trade Union (OWTU) and leader of the Joint Trade Union Movement Ancel Roget, and PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley during yesterday’s march “Time to Take a Stand for Trinidad and Tobago”, in protest against what they deemed as poor governance by the present regime.
This came one day before the PP’s fourth anniversary celebration which is scheduled to take place at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas today.
The OWTU was joined by Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union, Transport and Industrial Workers Union, Contractors and General Workers Union, Communications Workers Trade Union, and several others including the Agricultural Workers Trade Union complete with tractors and cane stalks.
It was a sea of red, white and black of the national flag as the unions took to the streets of Port- of-Spain where they took jabs at the Prime Minister and Sports Minister Anil Roberts with their union ditties.
Police estimated the crowd to be over 20,000.
“Our country is in crisis and if TT ever needed you, it is now. Today is a day when people from all walks of life stand up for your country and your children. The Cabinet of TT has fallen apart. The PM has abandoned her post and the criminal elements of TT have taken over,” Rowley claimed as he addressed the crowd at the Brian Lara Promenade, last evening.
He said because of this the murder of Dana Seetahal SC would come to nought, adding that for the first time in this country reporters were running scared and walking with security because they feared for their lives for revealing the truth.
“She (PM) said she would take me out. Well, Madam Prime Minister, I take you at your word because that is the language of criminals, and if that is the case and I have to fall, I will fall proudly,” he told a cheering crowd.
Rowley presented two documents which he alleged showed that there were discrepancies and racketeering in the Sports Ministry and the Sport Life Fund where millions of dollars were misspent.
He said the ministry doled out $180,000 in taxpayers’ money for one funeral. He also called on acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams to reveal the details on the report of the investigation on what has been dubbed “emailgate”. Rowley in Parliament, last year, revealed emails reported to be exchanges among the Prime Minister, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and then Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan in relation to the Section 34 fiasco.
Rowley demanded that Williams say what retired DCP Mervyn Richardson told the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, SC, and Chief Justice Ivor Archie about the investigation.
Rowley turned his attention to a video, which has since gone viral, allegedly showing a man resembling a Government Minister in a hotel room with women and what appeared to be marijuana.
The Government has since said the video was political mischief by the Opposition.
“I am waiting to hear what the Prime Minister is going to tell the people and children of TT. We want to hear nothing more from you, no more. When ministers cannot be dealt with by the PM, then neither can the criminals. If you, the people, cannot help yourselves, then nobody can,” Rowley said.
Roget said Government felt they could fool the people all the time, but the people would not accept that.
“How much more bad governance must the country endure? We demand that they call elections now,” Roget charged.
He called on Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine to give account for the running of his ministry and discrepancies which have come to the fore.
He asked why so many plants at Petrotrin were down for lengthy periods; who was the person on the Petrotrin board instructed to hire people affiliated with the UNC to high positions; who undermined Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan when she was Energy Minister.
“They say that you get the government that you deserve, but we did not do anything to deserve this poor governance. We call on the President, Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona to use the power he has, and the power he feels he doesn’t have, to address these issues in the interest of the people of TT,” Roget said.
The union leader said he would lead his supporters to the Office of the President where he would deliver these and other issues to be addressed at 9 am today.