The last few weeks have been one of the eventful periods in my political career, a career that has spanned two score plus eight – twenty eight (28) years.
I had the opportunity over the recent three weeks, as Political Leader,
– responding to the demands of the situation in which we found ourselves,
– joining you, the fine people of this constituency, in walking through many of the beautiful districts of Chaguanas West,
– meeting with the wonderful people of all ages,
– joining in prayer at your mandirs and mosques and churches,
– being invited into your homes,
sharing a word and a smile,
– looking at your faces and into the eyes of your children,
– seeing and recognising the deep aspirations you hold for your children and grandchildren so that their future will be better than yours.
In the maelstrom of this intense political activity, you provided comfort and sustenance, reassurance that we live in a blessed country,
in a country where our people are simple folks, with dreams and desires,
But with immense wisdom to discern and understand, and as our villagers say, separate the rice from the chaff, threshing the grains of the rice, removing and discarding the dry, scaly husks before the precious grain can be used to provide nourishment, a process likened so well in the Scriptures:
“Not so the wicked.
They are like the chaff that the wind blows away.”
WHAT CAMPAIGN HAS DONE
Though not of our making, destiny conspired to provide us with this unique and most valuable experience as we begin the second challenging phase of our constitutional five-year mandate to transform the political landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.
This campaign has been mercifully short for it has been enormously distracting, and in some unfortunate instances quite debilitating to the body politic of Trinidad and Tobago.
But if anything of substance has come out the last few weeks, it is that it has permitted people and government, not only in Chaguanas West, but as we have seen remarkably evident, people all over the country, to rekindle their enthusiasm, to participate in the noble democracy created and enshrined in this country.
It has reenergized people throughout this country, encouraging a citizen’s renaissance in the very fundamentals of nation building.
We may be on varying sides of the political divide, but we are all manifestly rooted in the vital foundational principle of forging a nation that is good, honest and meaningful to all.
I must take this opportunity to thank all my Cabinet colleagues and the scores of other people who took time as well over the past few weeks to come and show their support for our candidate.
Many of them were able to walk regularly with us; others attended our Rallies and meetings.
All offered support and advice at every step of our campaign.
And I must extend a special appreciation to our Partnership colleagues, particularly the Congress of the People, who held a very successful Rally in the constituency last week.
That support was an eloquent and tangible expression.
Not only did it endorse our candidate but also it highlighted the commitment to the unique Partnership under which we govern this country, emphasising that the Partnership remains strong, united and resilient.
As your Political Leader and your Prime Minister, these few weeks, the meetings I have attended, the many evenings I have walked with you, have been enlightening, not only to me, but also to members of my cabinet who joined the walkabouts and the various meetings.
The hundreds and thousands of people who came forward to share their advice, express their concerns, to pledge their loyalty, to demonstrate their love, or through just their presence and participation, have only served to reemphasise the monumental challenges and the immense responsibility of governing a country and leading a people.
I thank each and every one of you for providing some remarkable experiences, as I thank the thousands of you who have come to this beautiful place today for the final mass rally of our Chaguanas West by-elections campaign.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You all for supporting this movement.
Thank you all for being here and for being with us this afternoon, either in person or viewing and listening to the live television and radio broadcasts.
CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO ELECTION
A few weeks ago, I reminded all of you that this was not an issue of my choosing.
I deeply regretted that we were placed in a circumstance which led to your Government having to call, so abruptly and sadly, a by-elections in the constituency of Chaguanas West.
You are all aware of the circumstances.
Following the tendering of his resignation as a member of my Cabinet by your former MP, which, as you all know, I had absolutely no choice but to accept, then,
without warning, or discussion, your member of Parliament abruptly announced his resignation as Chairman of our Party, and as the duly elected UNC Member of Parliament for your constituency.
WHY RESIGNATION AS MP?
Many words have been uttered about why he resigned as your MP, but none have provided any real or plausible explanation.
One member of his campaign has suggested it was his desire to see fulfilled an element we promised in our manifesto, which is the right to recall if a member is found deficient in his responsibilities as a Member of Parliament.
In a peculiar twist, this explanation suggests an acknowledgement of deficiency.
But our promise of the right to recall is one of the pressing issues now being examined in our ongoing comprehensive national discussions on constitutional reform.
And it is predicated on the right of the citizens to take the initiative to recall their Member of Parliament.
I am not aware that your former Member of Parliament consulted you, the citizens of Chaguanas West.
In fact, there is a constant boast of an unparalleled level of representation so in his mind there should have been no question of constituent dissatisfaction and the need for recall.
As Political Leader of the UNC, I am not aware that any of the thirty-one party groups in the constituency was ever consulted on this matter.
I have no knowledge that the constituency executive ever discussed the need to recall.
It was without doubt a unilateral decision, with purpose aforethought.
Sad to say, his resignation as your Member of Parliament, could be interpreted indeed as a slap to your faces, as it was to us, aimed at achieving objectives other than providing you with effective representation.
The emotive persistent explanation has been summed up in one word: Validation.
To this day, I have not been able to understand what this means.
And I argue; if even there was a genuine need for validation, validation could have been achieved through less stressful and debilitating measures, rather than a course of action, which has plunged this entire country into a national distraction.
My Dear People, I am of the firm inescapable view, that the resignation and then immediately, without even a moment’s pause, announcing that he would seek reelection was an act of pure adulterated and calculated vanity.
And let us be clear, a vanity made possible only through what we call in this country “deep pockets’.
I ask the simple question:
Had your former member of parliament not been able to personally, and maybe with the help of selected financers, not been able to finance this narcisstic excursion into fantasy, would he have resigned?
And are the initials of his new vaunted political party, the ultimate Freudian slip – I – L – P …. I Love Power?
And this brings me to a much-used word in this campaign – Representation.
We have heard constantly about the level and quality of this almost mythical representation in Chaguanas West.
Ask yourselves: Why have their constituents in other parts of the country reelected other UNC Members of Parliament for four and five terms?
Members like XX, XX, serving as opposition members of Parliament, without state resources, or deep pockets of their own, operating without favours from central or even local government, but yet earning the support of their constituents for SEVERAL terms of office,
I will also tell you, as a longstanding Member of Parliament myself, I have been horrified by the crass examples used to highlight this purported representation and to manipulate you and the population as a whole.
Every single one of us could easily bring a physically impaired constituent we have helped with a wheelchair, could summon a cultural group to which we have provided support, get young children from a school whose classrooms or facilities we have improved.
But do we drag them to a public meeting and place a microphone before them to get a testimony of validation, a satisfaction of ego, maneuvers to entice your votes?
A common thread in the perpetual boast about the unique level of his representation is money he has personally spent on some constituents.
And I could quite understand why such recipients feel a sense of gratitude to their former member.
Each of us in the UNC every day experience similar demonstrations of such gratitude, but we chose not to exploit the predicaments of our fellow citizens.
Do we humiliate a wife of a poor and destitute crab catcher, give her a few dollars to bury her husband but then callously bring her a meeting to sing our praises?
Or do we provide her with the dignity and secure for her, in her time of dire need and distress, the financial support available to any citizen, through programmes we have established as a government?
And against this background, let us understand that the improvements in the infra structure in Chaguanas West, or any constituency, is the result of effective coordination of efforts of the offices of the Parliamentary Representative, local Councilors and central Government agencies and Ministries.
I am reminded, that in the past, the technique used by the PNM was to drill into your sub conscious that the Bus you were travelling on was a PNM Bus, the road was a PNM road, the school your children attended was a PNM school, the bridge you were crossing every day was a PNM bridge.
That pernicious PNM strategy has now been hijacked to make you believe that one man did all the works in this constituency over the last three years.
This is a blatant attempt to obliterate the fact that the people of Chaguanas West walked in the corridors of power, represented in Government, at both local and central levels.
And for the first time, you, and this Country, had a Government that adopted a clear policy of promoting the sustainability of all communities.
One which was not urban centric, where resources were concentrated on a few, at the expense of others.
Chaguanas West, like so many of our rural communities, finally benefitted from such an enlightened philosophy, and after Monday will continue, under the representation of Khadijah Ameen to enjoy that privilege.
Notwithstanding the factors, we were thrown into this situation, with absolutely no choice but to respond.
As I said at the beginning of this campaign, no one, absolutely no one, felt more distressed with the unfortunate turn of events.
But as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and as the Political leader of the United National Congress we had to engage decisively in this by elections.
The Party’s first responsibility was to select the best candidate.
In keeping with our constitution, we invited and screened nominations.
That is why the UNC has a duly constituted Screening Committee, to make probing and conscientious assessments of all candidates.
As enunciated in our constitution, the party’s screening committee interviewed eight potential nominees and made its recommendation to the Party’s national executive.
The executive accepted the recommendation and Khadijah Ameen, a long-standing member of the UNC, with eminent, commendable and relevant qualifications, credentials and experience, became our candidate.
All the persons who sought to be our candidate, all, except one, accepted the decision of the executive.
Some of them – Mr. Manohar Ramsaran and Pundit Satyanand Mahabir, went further and have actively participated throughout this campaign.
Over the past weeks, all of you, and the national community have come to know Ms. Ameen and to recognize the special qualities she brings so forcefully to bear in her desire to be the representative in the Parliament for Chaguanas West.
Khadijah is a formidable candidate and has attributes which will produce outstanding results for the residents of this constituency.
She is a loyal member of the UNC and has demonstrated her commitment to Party, Country and People.
As Chairman of one of the major Regional Corporations in the country, she has presided over the affairs affecting thousands of persons, including districts which are part of this very constituency.
I note that the remit of the Tunapuna Piarco Regional Corporation include the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, and in this regard the special attention being paid by your Government to transform St. Augustine into an education city.
In fact, Khadijah is a Member of a Cabinet-appointed committee to oversee the development and evolution of St Augustine City as a first class Integrated Centre for Academic Excellence.
I align that experience to our own efforts here in Chaguanas to promote further educational developmental opportunities for our young people, create special centres of tertiary level learning, including the building of the headquarters and associated facilities of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training.
As a former County Councilor myself I am deeply aware how useful it is for a person who has had local government experience to serve at the national level in the House of Representatives.
Literally, a county councilor brings a different perspective to community challenges, a deeper appreciation of the plight and the needs of residents.
The eye is particularly discerning as the councilor interfaces with residents and engages communities.
The compassion is genuine, the exchanges real, productive and meaningful, the results far more complete and relevant.
Khadijah has been a councilor for over ten years.
In 2003 she was the youngest councilor elected and became the youngest chairman of a Regional Corporation in 2010.
She has had ten solid years of representative experiences, admirably preparing her for this new role as your elected Member of Parliament.
Last year she was recognized with distinction in a European Union project as a ‘Woman of Change’.
Additionally, Khadijah held the position as Chairman of the major Regional Corporation and therefore not only served the communities under her care but also had to manage the administration and council members, constantly arbitrating their competing calls on the resources of the corporations.
I would say that these additional managerial experiences would have direct bearing on her new role as Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West.
I anticipate she will introduce new procedures involving continuous and relevant dialogue with all the stakeholders of this constituency.
This will no doubt lead to more effective identification and resolution of the needs of the constituency.
I am fully satisfied that we have offered the fine people of Chaguanas West an outstanding candidate to represent you, on behalf of the United National Congress.
I have no doubt that in an absolutely short time she will demonstrate that competence and earn the loyalty of all the constituents, solving many of the problems that were so evident and abundant during our walkabouts.
In passing, I must lament the unfortunate scrulliious attacks made over the past few weeks on our bright young capable daughter whose only mission is to continue to serve this country, now in a different capacity.
I was appalled at the level of the personal attacks and the direct heinous attempts to besmirch her character.
I know you, the people of Chaguanas West, were not fooled by or became conspirators to the brutish assaults.
In the same way I know you were not duped by the patently absurd speaking technique used by your former Member of Parliament.
It was absolutely foolish and totally disingenuous, night after night, interview after interview, to hear him profess how much he loved Kamla, but how some mysterious but clearly nefarious cabal was conniving against him.
You could hear him parrot the line: I ent going there, but then proceed to attack and vilify, casting untruths and innuendoes, with feigned reluctance, as though he was in a Raymond Choo Kong parody.
An insiduous speaking style that may have elicited comedic laughter, but was recognized as duplicitous and without substance.
But that strategy had a more sinister purpose.
Those of you who remain loyal to me and to the UNC will be manipulated into thinking that if you vote for him you are not betraying your party.
It was guile, intended to hoodwink you into believing that a vote for the ILP was still a vote for the UNC.
This was further compounded by the cynical subterfuge, which he continues to promote up to this very day, that the ILP was seeking to be a member of our historic People’s Partnership.
Members of the Partnership have already pronounced on that matter.
That ploy has been put to rest, and will be buried on Monday.
One of the worst examples of the cunning he attempted to perpetrate on you was when he brandished a series of pictures, and plaintively protested, ‘Ah not showing them’, ‘they too sordid’, shamelessly titillating the senses of his audiences.
So while he engaged in vicious and deceptive attacks, he tried to elude responsibility by proclaiming: “I ent going there”, and “I love Kamla, “Ah sorry for her”, fooling no one and only deluding himself.
Mr. Warner was my friend.
I held him in high regard, as indeed all of us did in the UNC. I am so saddened by the path he has chosen.
There is no doubt he helped rejuvenate our party at a critical juncture and played a central role in our march to Government.
But those us who actually lived the history know he was but one of many who stood up valiantly for our Party.
Indeed as much as he contributed, many others supported him.
Were it not for the blessing, which the UNC gave to Mr. Warner, he would not have achieved the pinnacle to which he ascended in national political life.
Were it not for the endorsement he received from the former UNC leader and from all of us, he would have been in political obscurity.
He himself has admitted that, as an outsider, he was literally given Chaguanas West – and on a platter, a sacredly held safe seat of the UNC.
Many of the elders in this community will remember when his hand was held and he was brought to Chaguanas West, how they questioned the former leader of the UNC: “Boss, you really want us to support this stranger”.
And having reminded you of that, let me deal with the persistent charge he has made, that I am captive to a cabal, a cabal he says consist of the very people with whom he served, who supported and defended him throughout all his trials and tribulations, but whom he says, are now out to get him, for reasons he is unable to disclose.
I make it abundantly clear: I have no cabal.
If there is a cabal, that cabal consists of the sworn members of the cabinet of the duly elected Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
It is a fundamental philosophy of my leadership style to be a consensus leader.
I listen to all my cabinet members, and I consult beyond my cabinet members, to other Ministers and members of our Peoples Partnership.
My doors are open to all my cabinet members, to each and every one, and to so many others.
They communicate with me formally through notes and minutes but they are all in communication with me constantly through meetings, discussions and informal exchanges.
Interestingly, when the former Member of Parliament was a member of my cabinet, we heard no talk of a cabal.
Maybe he recognized he was indeed an equal partner in our cabinet, and if there was a cabal at that time, then he too was a member of that cabal.
But I assure him and I assure you.
My leadership style will not change.
I value the opinions and ideas I receive from all.
I listen, I consider, I evaluate and then I make the decisions.
And it was in this context I accepted the resignation of Mr. Warner as a member of my Cabinet.
Maybe I was too forgiving before.
Maybe I was too understanding when the accusations and charges of alleged misdeeds were swirling incessantly,
when the opposition and other civil society groups – all with abundant self interest – but now ominously silent, were calling, repeatedly and vociferously, for his head.
I stood with him.
We all stood with him.
I chose not to respond to the persistent allegations and innuendoes.
But the situation changed dramatically in April with the publication by FIFA of an official report, produced, after an extensive study by an eminent team, containing compelling and evidentiary assessments and conclusions.
It was further of concern that Mr. Warner chose not to respond to the invitation of the study team to defend the findings.
In this campaign, I purposefully stayed away from any adverse commentary.
But after I was confronted by the allegation that we had taken a grievous action to ‘fire Jack’, I felt compelled to explain, not in scurrilous invective, but in a measured objective response, that the matter came to head when FIFA published its damning detailed report only in mid April.
I explained, to clarify the misleading suggestions of willful and arbitrary action on my part, that after formal and crucial publication of the FIFA report, the widespread international exposure it generated and the serious implications for the image of Trinidad and Tobago, I requested Mr. Warner to discuss the matter with me.
The result of that meeting was that he tendered his resignation as a member of my Cabinet.
His departure was a sad experience for me and for all his former Cabinet colleagues, but we all recognized there was no alternative, and,
we expected he would begin immediately, as I invited him to do, to take appropriate steps to clear his name of the charges made by FIFA.
Mr. Warner’s subsequent summary resignation from our Party and from Parliament was startling and forced this very by elections.
His immediately announced decision to fight the seat for ‘validation’ was and remains confusing.
His decision now to have a full-scale launch of a new political party is instructive.
All the elements, all the steps he has taken, all the moves he has made with conscious and deliberate planning suggest they were made with deceiving aforethought.
Weeks ago he invited his constituents, voicing his own lavish schedule of radio and television commercials, encouraging all to a meeting so that they could tell him what to do.
Instead he confronted them with a fait accompli, a new Party, banners, slogans, logo, symbols, colours and all, and thousands of jerseys.
The subsequent promotion to entice new members to join his party has been extensive and relenting.
The mad rush to attract fifty thousand members – in mere days, is confusing.
Is the building of a serious entity such as a political party to be achieved by whim and fancy, or through painstaking deliberate methodical thinking and action?
Do you build a Political Party purposefully or do you just create a Party out of hysteria.
Is this a drawing for a million dollar lotto prize – buy a lotto ticket ……. fill up an application form and send a dollar. What’s the difference?
What is the big prize of this one man crusade?
I ask you to ponder, to what purpose is all of this, what is the ultimate objective?
But Ladies and Gentlemen, people of Chaguanas West, notwithstanding the circumstances we face today, we are where we are, and as wise intelligent people we must all take our destiny firmly and decisively in hand.
The choices are simple:
Perhaps never before have the People of Chaguanas West, in fact of any constituency, faced with such a moral dilemma.
It calls for sensible, wise and rational considerations.
It demands sane and objective thinking.
And I know that each and everyone of you remain fully cognizant and capable of such quiet but reflective decision-making.
There is the elemental question of maintaining your long-standing and manifest loyalty and commitment.
Do you remain loyal to your Party, the UNC, which you have built with your own sweat and tears?
I know the struggles many of you fought to keep the UNC alive.
The late nights, the sacrifices you made and continue to make, to leave your homes and your families, night after night, to come to rallies, to walk the streets, and the traces, to climb the hills, to slosh through the muddy tracts, to knock on the doors, to convince your neighbours.
Tired and often lacking resources, but strengthened by the firm conviction you knew what you were doing was right and good and purposeful.
You remained loyal and steadfast, never wavering, never faltering, marching on and on to achieve victory for the party.
And even when, in January 2010 you were faced with the challenge of deciding leadership, you overwhelmingly chose party as the preeminent option.
You chose wisely and propelled your party to an unparalleled and overwhelming victory at the polls and by the Grace of the Almighty, into Government.
This is another occasion for you to continue to demonstrate that singular commitment to Party and ideals.
The question now is do you keep Chaguanas West in Government and therefore in the corridors of Power?
Do you continue to sustain that which you fought for so valiantly?
Then Vote Khadija; vote UNC
Make no mistake, that is where you will be if on Monday you do not cast your ballot for Khadijah Ameen; Chaguanas West will join the opposition benches of the PNM.
Do you remember what it was like when you and other constituencies in the very heartlands of the country were in Opposition?
Do you recall when Urban centric regimes willfully neglected your needs, refused to acknowledge your plight, but through unenlightened policies, promoted some constituencies at the expense of others, such as yours.
Consider calmly what being out of Government power will mean to you and other constituents of Chaguanas West.
You will lose your voice in the continuing battle to achieve greater equality for all citizens, to maintain the effort to create a more perfect union of constituencies, for yourselves and your children, to ensure that you receive your fair share of the national patrimony.
That is literally the imperative you face, the challenge you must encounter and rationalize in this by elections.
A vote for anyone but Khadijah Ameen, your UNC candidate, begins the inexorable slide into opposition and takes this country into the hands of the PNM.
I do not have to remind any of you how easily we lost that opportunity in the past by the callous but calculated selfish action of three ignoble individuals.
If we are not thoughtful and vigilant, it could happen again.
You must ensure that any self-seeking attempt to achieve that objective is still born.
So that your vote on Monday is not just for the constituency of Chaguanas West, not just to select a candidate to represent you, as important as that is to your welfare.
This election demands a higher calling from citizens.
Your vote has a loftier and nobler objective; your vote is directly linked to the preservation of our democratic traditions that enshrines fair and just development of all constituencies.
You have no Hobson’s choice.
We offer you a fine candidate who will continue to foster and promote the ideals of the UNC.
So that in Khadijah Ameen you have the benefit of both requisites.
A candidate of tested loyalty and competence and at the same time assuring that your Party, the UNC, remains in place to wrought the societal changes we have begun.
Your future, the future of your families, your children and their children, are in your hands.
WHAT WE WILL DO
Over the past four weeks we have walked your streets and your villages, I thank you for your love, comfort and support which you expressed so deeply and with such warmth
Having seen the neglect and the squalor and having heard the plight of your community we have resolved to bring relief to you and your communities.
Indeed this election has been an undisguised blessing, for we have confronted the real people and found out their real problems which were hidden under the veil of “good representation” which has been exposed as no more than a convenient slogan for warner”s campaign.
EX CARONI WORKERS
No group of persons has endured more depression and hardship like the ex caroni workers who had to wait for the partnership government to receive their leases and many of whom are still unemployed and scraping to make ends meet.
These workers over 3,000 have endured hardship from an ADB investment plan that went under having been conned by the PNM regime into investing over $ 400 m in a “sweetner” plan that went sour.
Your government has already approved the management fee payment of $6 m to offset all fees and return this money to the workers who paid for such services.
I will now commit our government to paying $50 m to the former caroni workers who invested on the promise of the PNM, and were duped into putting their money in that plan.
This $50 m will be paid as partial payment to offset any payments that would have been due to the caroni workers by way of interest received.
So that the ex caroni workers who were cheated by the PNM would at least receive some income from your government.
The ADB, the UTC and the Ministry of Finance will do the appropriate math to ensure that this money is paid on the basis of the quantum of investment made by the individual workers.
This commitment comes because the PNM had conned and duped the workers, using a state bank to solicit monies with the guarantee of a handsome return.
In 2006 the PNM government took away 500 acres of prime agricultural land for the development of a military base.
This has remained in abeyance for 6 years.
We propose to return a significant portion of this land to the Ministry of Food Production to enhance our rice cultivation in the Felicity area.
Already we have seen real growth in the agricultural sector, this will further enhance our initiatives in achieving our goal of food security.
The workers of Caroni in this area are also waiting for their promised residential lots.
I am pleased to announce that just last week your Cabinet approved the sum of $48 m to finish develop the Felicity residential site where we expect to have over 700 lots for distribution later this year 2013.
This will benefit many of the ex caroni workers in the felicity and the surrounding areas.
We will also seek funding for the completion of the residential site nearby on the Caroni savannah road.
Contrary to the misinformation advanced by Mr. Warner , I never asked Warner to send the people of Chaguanas into other areas to live.
Why would I consult warner on Housing when there is a Minister of Housing.
This he uses as an excuse for his own deliberate failure to recommend the people of Chaguanas West for housing.
All of you who have been complaining about outsiders coming into your quiet communities during this campaign, don’t be surprised, these may be the recipients of Mr. Warner’s housing strategy.
A major complaint of the people of felicity, charlieville and surrounding areas is the problem of health care.
The lone health centre is located in Montrose, this means that a resident falling sick in Felicity can take 1 hour in traffic to get to a health centre
Given the availability of the lands in this area I propose to ask our Ministry of Health to construct a health centre in the Felicity area to service the western side of the Greater Chaguanas area.
So you the people of Pierre Road, Felicity and surrounding areas will get your long awaited health facilities.
We have identified a parcel of land on the Caroni connector road for this purpose
This is the long term development which my government is known for.
We are building hospitals, schools, police stations, fire stations and community centres.
Over the past month we have also brought several development projects to your area which appeared to be neglected in several communities.
We will complete the Monroe road primary school.
We have paved 20 roads in the last 4 weeks, in the constituency after hearing of your complaints, we have taken steps to clean drains, construct bridges and agricultural access roads.
All of this we do in the name of the UNC AND THE PARTNERSHIP GOVERNMENT!!
it is not a one man or one woman show.
Before I close, I want to say a special word to the hundreds of volunteers who came forward so willingly and joyously to serve in this campaign.
I was heartened by this outpouring from so many people.
I was deeply moved to see the teams of young people who devoted their time and their energy to ensure our victory on Monday.
My heart and my thanks are with every one of you.
To our Muslim brothers and sisters in Chaguanas West and throughout the country, in this holy month of Ramadan, I continue to ask Allah’s blessing and to extend Ramadan Mubarak, especially as we enter the important last ten nights of this blessed month of fasting and prayers, and observe the precious Night of Power – Laila Tul Qadr ( pronunciation: Cud).
My Dear People of Chaguanas West.
You are literally at a unique and watershed moment in our history.
Elections are always important.
This one is especially significant for you and our country.
You each have an enormous challenge, but also a meaningful opportunity.
So much depends on each and every one of you and on what you do on Monday.
I urge all to make sure you go to the Polls, and I want each of you to make sure your neighbours also go to vote.
This election is critical and you must treat it with the seriousness it requires.
You must go forward bravely, having made the wise and thoughtful decision.
On Monday show the green part the red card and send them out of Chaguanas west.
You must put your X next to Khadijah Ameen and the Rising Sun – the symbol of the UNC. .
You must ensure that when the sun rises brightly on Tuesday morning, on our beautiful Land that is Trinidad and Tobago, it will signal renewed faith and confidence in your Government, in yourselves and in our Country.
I Thank You, May God Bless each of you, and May God Bless Trinidad and Tobago.