Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar assured yesterday that Local Government elections would not be postponed and will be held when they are constitutionally due.
Speaking to reporters following a visit by children from the Lady Hochoy Home in Penal at her Penal constituency office, the Prime Minister said, “The Local Government elections will be held within the time frame set by law and there will be no postponement of these elections.”
Asked about the call by some of her former councillors to postpone the elections, she said, “Yes, some people felt we should have postponed it. I am not of that view. I believe that we owe it to the electorate. I believe we have promised on our platform in our conversations in 2010… We have always said that we would hold the elections when they are due, and it is my intention so to do.”
Asked whether her party would be prepared for the elections, given the conclusion of screening by the Opposition PNM and the Independent Liberal Party’s (ILP) intentions to start its screening process, Persad-Bissessar said they would be ready, “You know it is not about readiness, we would be ready, that’s what the party is for. I think it is more important to have integrity in the things that we profess, the things we put out, the things that we say, that is more important.”
She added, “Win, lose or draw, we will speak the promises that we made to the people and the rest will fall into place.” Repeating that the elections will not be postponed, Persad- Bissessar noted, however, that there were some in her Cabinet who were of the opinion that the elections should be postponed. “I do not think so. When we came in we said, look, we will do one, two, and three and these are things we are doing.”
She said the Cabinet was also considering some amendments to the local government legislation.
She added that the recently concluded Chaguanas West bye- election had taught her MPs a lesson and now they were all back on the ground.
“All of the MPs got a lesson and all MPs are back out on the ground. They became very concerned dealing with governance and forgot about the ground. And they are back out on the ground now,” she said.
The Prime Minister also said Cabinet had not deliberated on any matters such as the property tax.
She also described as very tragic the mauling of a grandmother by a pitbull on Monday. She assured that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was looking at the legislation and he will say more on the matter.
Persad-Bissessar later had a first-hand view of the ongoing construction works of the Parvati Girls’ and Shiva Boys’ Hindu College at Clarke Road in Penal.