Thank you for coming out in such large numbers tonight. Tonight we begin a campaign that was thrust on us unexpectedly … so we had to be ready.
Are you ready?
Are you ready to stand up for the United National Congress?
Are you ready to secure Chaguanas West’s place in the People’s Partnership government?
I know that you are anxious to hear whoyour candidate is for the bye-election on July 29 – exactly one month from today.
And soon I will tell you who that person is.
I promise you that you would be most pleased with the person that your UNC screening committee selected … and as your political leader I am asking you to give your UNC candidate an overwhelming mandate to continue to represent you in Chaguanas West.
I told you on Monday and I’ll repeat it throughout this campaign … you have to keep Chaguanas West UNC so that we can continue to serve you as we have been doing for the past three years that we have been in government.
Don’t let the opposition get anywhere close to winning.
On July 29th, voting day put aside everything and get to your polling station as early as you can and put your X next to the RISING SUN.
DO not get complacent.
No matter what anybody tells you, you only win when every UNC supporter marks the ballot in the right place.
And the right place is next to the RISING SUN.
Know where you have to vote and go there early.
Don’t let anybody tell you this is not an important election.
This is a very important election that will determine if Chaguanas West stays in government or goes into opposition.
All of our MPs were elected for five years.
We did not call this election, but I had to fix a date for it.
Your party did not plan this election, but we had to screen candidates for it. Now that we have chosen your party’s candidate we are asking you to support that candidate.
Because we were forced to prepare for an election that we did not call, we have to come to you to ask you to support your party’s candidate.
So you have a clear choice.
And don’t let anybody discourage you.
Anytime you don’t vote, you give a vote for the opposition.
WE WIN WHEN WE UNITE; WE WIN WHEN WE VOTE.
I ask you tonight to tell me…do you want Chaguanas West to be a PNM seat?
Then on July 29th 2013, vote for the UNC, vote for the rising sun.
WE WIN WHEN WE UNITE; WE WIN WHEN WE VOTE.
SO it’s one month away.
Postpone your vacation, talk to your nanee and mousie. Talk to your tantie and let them understand how important it is to vote and to keep Chaguanas West in the UNC and in government. Make sure everyone who is eligible votes on Election Day.
If your government is not in office you will lose too much.
Remember the dark days of PNM neglect and discrimination?
We can never go back to those days of rampant PNM destruction and negligence.
Think of what the People’s Partnership government has accomplished for you.
Think of the pensions, think of the food cards, think of the laptops for the children, think of your children’s future. Think of the jobs, think of the improved water service. Think of how bad it was just three years ago.
We have come too far to turn back.
WE NOT TURNING BACK.
WE MARCHING FORWARD and we marching as ONE!
WE ARE ONE!
Be wary of the PNM and their intentions.
They don’t care about you.
They only want your vote so they could sit in Parliament to warm a seat and continue to attack your government with baseless propaganda.
In three years they have not contributed a single constructive idea about how to run a government or how to improve T&T… and now they are telling you to vote for them?
ASK THEM: WHAT CAN THEY DO FOR YOU?
ASK THEM: WHAT HAVE THEY EVER DONE FOR YOU?
ASK THEM: WHERE HAVE THE BILLIONS GONE?
THEY ONLY HAD A BIG “HART” WHEN IT CAME TO THEIR FRIENDS!
We have been working every day to build this country, constituency by constituency.
They are angry because for the first time ever we are developing rural areas with the same urgency as everywhere else.
They don’t want a hospital in Penal.
They don’t want a university campus in Debe.
They don’t want Chaguanas to develop
They don’t want anything unless it is in Port of Spain.
But Port of Spain alone is not Trinidad and Tobago.
We pledged to serve you and that service must come to you wherever you are – from Laventille to Cedros; Scarborough to Charlotteville to Chaguanas.
Remember they are the ones who caused andpresided over the worst rural neglect … and they are the ones who have pledged to shut down your Ministry of the People.
Their political spite is a threat to the peace and stability of our country.
For us there is only one Trinidad and Tobago.
That is why we built a strong coalition with a team of dedicated and hardworking women and men
We are all loyal to our country first and foremost.
That is why our brother, PrakashRamadhar, political leader of the Congress of the People pledged on Monday night to support the UNC candidate.
Don’t let anybody confuse you about loyalty.
People talk about loyalty but the question we must ask ourselves all the time is where does the loyalty lie?
Be loyal to you, to your children, your community and your country.
In the end this election is about whether you want to be in Government or in Opposition.
The UNC candidate is who will take you back into the arms of the Government.
Time and circumstances change so much so, that there may come a time when you have to shift your loyalty from an individual and remain loyal to the institution in order to stay true to the principles upon which that institution is built.
It happened when in January 2010, when the membership of the UNC chose to chart a different course for the future of the party, by voting for a new political leader.
As the Good Book says:
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Things change. Circumstances change. Nothing remains constant.
The challenge to us is in knowing when it is time to let go and move on.
As the great philosopher Lao Tzu said:
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
The reality is that circumstances we find ourselves in today are not of my making…..nor is it because of you.
But here we are.
So we are going to move on and move forward…and we are going to do it together as one united party.
The challenge you will confront in the days and weeks ahead is who is best able to take Chaguanas West forward and keep it in government?
I will tell you tonight my sisters and brothers.
Only the UNC candidate can achieve that goal and that is why you must put aside all other loyalties and friendships and choose the UNC.
Moses gave up the Kingdom of Egypt to stand up for the children of Israel.
He had been loyal to Pharaoh and still loved him.
But the greater good was to end the slavery of his people.
His duty to his people was greater that the comforts of a palace and the embrace of a queen.
Lord Krishna tells us in the Gita that to fight on the side of righteousness means sometimes you have to fight against your family, your own kinfolk.
And if that is what you encounter in this election, you must make that choice and fight for what is right and do your duty.
Fight for what is right.
The PNM has chosen one of your children from Felicity to fight against your party.
He has made the wrong choice in standing as a soldier for the PNM.
I ask you tonight to show him his error and vote against him.
Instead of standing to fight for what is right and what is best for Chaguanas West and Trinidad and Tobago he chose the side of oppression and neglect.
He embraced those who subjected you and HIM as well to the worst form of abuse and discrimination.
And that is why you have to fight against him; you have to show him the power of the righteous.
So on July 29 you must choose wisely.
YOU MUST CHOOSE THE RISING SUN.
No other choice will do.
Don’t allow anybody to encourage you to take Chaguanas West out of government.
If you are not in government you lose.
It is only when you are in government you can get the kind of development that you have seen.
We have created a revolution in development and delivery.
But our job is far from finished.
Look around you wherever you live and you would see that the RISING SUN shines everywhere.
Our People’s Partnership is the shining example of a united political force and our party must remain UNITED AS NEVER BEFORE.
In 2010 when we came to you and asked for your vote Chaguanas West responded with the greatest enthusiasm in the country … more than 18,000 of you embraced our party and said, YES, WE CAN!
What mattered most then was the PARTY. You voted for the UNC because you knew that we represented the best hope to RISE to the challenge of leadership and representation … and we have not let you down.
Your government delivered and your government performed better than any previous government.
So when you look around Chaguanas West you see progress.
When you look around the country you see progress.
You must also remind yourself that none of it would have been possible if YOUR PARTY WAS NOT IN GOVERNMENT.
We were in opposition for a long time and you know how much you tried to get things done.
But you had a spiteful PNM government that boasted that it would do things only for its own people.
I am not making that up.
My predecessor said when he was in opposition… he said the mistake he made in his first administration was that he didn’t do enough for HIS people.
And so as soon as he became Prime Minister again, in one spiteful political move he demonstrated that he would keep that promise.
So he shut down your sugar company and putthousands of people out of work.
He destroyed the hopes of an entire community.
Nearly ten thousand people worked for the company… each of them had children and families to feed.
Thousands of cane farmers were thrown out of work.
All the businesses in the communities around the sugar estates were in a tailspin.
Most of them had to shut down.
Mr. Manning boasted that closing down the sugar company was the best decision he ever made.
That was a confirmation of his spite and his revenge against people whose only crime was where they lived.
And he refused to give the people the lands that were rightfully theirs according to an agreement signed with their union.
In December 2007, Justice Lennox Deyalsingh gave the government a deadline of June 30, 2008 to hand out to 7,900 former sugar workers their entitlement of two-acre agricultural plots and to ensure that each plot had proper infrastructure, including access, drainage and irrigation facilities.
The judge said the government’s lack of a sense of urgency in dealing the matter for four years was “tantamount to an abuse of power.” ABUSE OF POWER … that was and remains the trademark of the PNM.
Madam Karen Nunez Teshiera responded to the judgment saying: “That is one of the priority matters I am focusing on.”
You know what they did?
They did nothing.
And up to when you removed them from office they still didn’t do anything.
THAT ABUSE OF POWER that the judge talked about continued because you did not matter.
Your children did not matter.
You lived in the wrong area so you didn’t qualify to get noticed by the PNM.
The ABUSE of power is also the hallmark of the new leader of the PNM.
In three years we have seen Dr. Rowley abuse his privilege in Parliament, concocting and fabricating stories to try to overthrow your government … making up lies about our AG, about our government and its officials … holding secret meetings and boasting that he did nothing wrong.
WRONG AND STRONG.
That is the PNM way.
But you heard what our Sister Marlene Coudray said in Parliament … A Palace coup coming. Rowley quaking in his boots but that is because of his incompetence.
But I want to warn you whoever they put, you in the same KHAKI PANTS.
One PNM is as bad as another.
So don’t let them come into your constituency and ask you for your vote.
Tell them you are voting for progress.
Tell them you are voting for development.
Tell them you are voting for integrity and honesty.
Tell them you are VOTING UNC …
Tell them you are voting for a party and a government that is not spiteful.
They were quick to shut down your sugar company and leave thousands of families to starve.
THEY DID NOT GIVE OUT A SINGLE LOT.
They broke their promise; they ignored the judge.
They broke the law.
When we came into government we had to deal with the backlog and the waste.
The previous government spent $1.6 billion developing and surveying lands and did not give out one lot to the thousands who had been waiting for years.
$1.6 billion and how many lots did the PNM hand out?
Ask them where the money gone?
One thousand six hundred million dollars they spent… and what do they have to show for it?.
I don’t have to make up figures and email like them you know. These are FACTS!
When they come with their wild accusations ask them where that money went?
Since we came into office your government has given out more than 1,000 leases in Cedar Hill, Reform, Mc Bean, Esmeralda and Picton.
Within our first two years we put over 15,000 acres of land into productive use for agriculture.
We have given out almost seven thousand two-acre plots to former Caroni workers.
We are working on a shared business model on those thousands of two acre plots that we have given to former workers of Caroni (1975) Limited to maximize yield and benefit to the beneficiaries.
In the coming weeks we will distribute 202 agricultural leases… as well as 400 other lots.
And we expect by the end of this year that 5,800 acres of former sugar land will be in food production as part of the Caroni Green Initiative.
560 acres will have short-term crops for the local market.
And we are committed to make sure that everyone who is entitled to the land gets it.
We don’t want to know who holds a party card.
We don’t do things that way.
That’s the PNM way.
WE ARE WORKING FOR YOU.
The PNM said they would look after their own … and since you were never considered their own, they discriminated against you in every way.
There is only one Trinidad and Tobago.
OUR PEOPLE are ALL THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION, RACE, RELIGION OR SOCIAL AND ECONOMINC STANDING.
IN OUR FAMILY THERE is NO “WE AND DEM” ….
Our forefathers built this country together … and we must protect that inheritance.
That is why our party chose the symbol of THE RISING SUN.
The rising sun gives warmth and energy to everyone.
It sustains all life and symbolizes who we are.
With each new day the RISING SUN brings new promises and new hope wherever its rays reach…
We are a people’s party, dedicated to unity, equality, freedom, justice and democracy.
YOU PUT US in government to serve you.
And together with our coalition partners we have been doing just that.
We put country first, we put you first because you are the country, you are the government, you are the voice, you are the heart, body and soul of this great land that I have dedicated my life to serve.
So I am asking you to maintain your trust in us… look at what we have achieved in three years.
We have more work to do for you.
KEEP THE FAITH and mark your X next to the RISING SUN on July 29 and we will continue to work for you – everyday.
We are a government of the people and when the UNC wins back Chaguanas West, we all win because we would have a stronger party and a stronger GOVERNMENT.
Chaguanas West would be back in government – where it belongs.
Everything that you have got in Chaguanas West was because YOUR UNC MP was in government.
So let me tell you about the screening process.
As you know, I was not a member of the screening committee that made the decision but as your political leader I had to approve the recommendation.
And I am very pleased with the decision.
On Monday when I spoke in Munroe Road, I told you that running against the UNC is a bad idea.
Nobody can win against the UNC in Chaguanas West.
My UNC sisters and brothers, Stand Tall … NO ONE CAN BEAT US IN CHAGUANAS WEST.
But DON’T GET COMPLACENT.
You have a duty to stand with your party on July 29 to put your X next to the rising sun.
I have talked to you about loyalty and I want to reiterate that loyalty must be based on seeing the bigger picture.
Reject the PNM and anyone else who wants to divide you.
STAND UP FOR THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS….
Because I tell you, my sisters and brothers, when we stand united; when we march together as one, there is no force on earth that can stop… no one can stop us because we put God in front and walk behind.
You are the government.
And only you have the power to keep us in government.
So on July 29 put your X next to the rising sun.
And now it is with the greatest pleasure I have to tell you what you have been waiting to hear.
But first, I want to thank all the persons who put in a nomination for candidacy of Chaguanas West:
Mr. Satyanand Mahabir
Mr. Mantab Mohammed
Mr. Hayman Moonian
Mr. Austin Jack Warner
Mr. Harridath Maharaj
Mr. Manohar Ramsaran
Ms. Khadijah Ameen
Mr. Manohar Singh
It always comes down to making choices; in every constituency we can only have one candidate …
We had to decide who was best to meet all our requirements … . We stand for honesty, integrity and loyalty… We are an inclusive party that embraces the youth and women … that’s the way of the future.
And having considered all the factors … we made a choice … and tonight I am asking you to embrace your candidate and elect that candidate on JULY 29.
On Monday I told you to vote party, not individual
l. Now that we have decided on your candidate I am proud to say that you have a great party and a great candidate to vote for on July 29th 2013.
Sisters and Brothers I am proud to announce that with your support Ms. KHADIJAH AMEEN IS GOING TO BE YOUR NEXT MP FOR CHAGUANAS WEST .