Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, June 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"We ready---let s rumble!"
That was the declaration of Oppo-
sition People s National Movement
(PNM) Chief Whip Marlene McDon-
ald to reporters following the prime
minister s announcement, yesterday,
of the general election date.
McDonald and nine other PNM
MPs attended Parliament yesterday.
The PNM MPs had boycotted the
Parliament in the last month protest-
ing the suspension of leader Dr Keith
Those who attended were MPs
Donna Cox, Fitzgerald Jeffrey, Colm
Imbert, Terrence Deyalsingh, Patricia
McIntosh, Amery Browne, Alicia
Hospedales, Joanne Thomas and Paula
Gopee-Scoon. Absent were Nileung
Hypolite and Patrick Manning, besides
Rowley, whose suspension last month
was for the remainder of the term
While Imbert refused reporters
request for a comment, McDonald
noted that analysts had said the PM
might give a date after she gave a
"teaser" about it at Thursday s post-
cabinet media briefing.
"She clearly gave in to public pres-
sure, but I think she did the right
thing. Call it..." McDonald said.
Asked for Rowley s view on the
announcement, McDonald said, "I m
sure wherever he is---I ve been trying
to contact him, I haven t been able
to speak to him as yet---I m sure he ll
On the PNM s position regarding
the election, she said, "We ready!
We ve been saying the PNM is ready.
We ready to go---let s rumble!"
Port-of-Spain North MP McIntosh,
who will not be contesting the general
election, said the PNM had worked
out the date and had felt it would not
have been in July or August since a
lot of people would be abroad.
"So it would have been early Sep-
tember," she said.
The PM s announcement was wit-
nessed by her full parliament team
of MPs and senators as well as Tobago
Organisation of the People (TOP)
leader Ashworth Jack.
When she completed her
announcement, House Speaker Wade
Mark delivered an address and con-
cluded the session, as Leader of Gov-
ernment Business Roodal Moonilal
also had, with the declaration, "Sine
die (without date)..."
At the session s end at 2.45 pm,
MPs broke up, with handshakes, hugs
and kisses of farewell.
Persad-Bissessar warmly shook
hands with McDonald. The PP s Rudy
Indarsingh deeply hugged PNM s
Joanne Thomas. PNM MP Amery
Browne hugged PP MP Collin Partap
and several other people.
PP MPs Tim Gopeesingh, Winston
Dookeran, Rodger Samuel and PP
Senator Ganga Singh shook hands
and said farewell to Independent Lib-
eral Party (ILP) leader Jack Warner.
PP National Security Minister Carl
Alfonso also shook hands and chatted
Warner had, at a Lopinot meeting
on Thursday, called on his members
to assemble outside the Parliament
yesterday to "celebrate." But the anti-
PP protestors were almost outnum-
bered by the number of media---local
and foreign---assembled outside the
PNM's ready to
Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley says September 7, 2015,
will be get rid of UNC/PP Day in
He made the comment moments
after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar s announcement in Par-
liament of the September 7 date for
the 2015 general election.
The Parliament will dissolve at
midnight on June 17.
Rowley, who was suspended from
the Parliament by the Government
last month, said he was very opti-
mistic about his 59-year-old-party s
"We are ready and we will get
readier and by September 7 we will
be at our most ready and we will
win the election," he said.
"Given half a chance or any
chance, this Prime Minister would
not have called elections at all. It is
clear that she is in love with office
and preferred to stay in office for
every day that the law allows."
He said the choice of September
7 was "a total disregard for the fact
that the fiscal year starts on October
1."The national budget is usually
presented in September, and Rowley
said "combining the election with
the budget preparation is irrespon-
sible on the part of the Prime Min-
ister. That does not serve the nation-
He also said Persad-Bissessar had
set the election for that date "for
one reason and one reason only, to
give herself the very last day the
law allows in office." He said, how-
ever, that this would negatively affect
matters of national interest.
Noting that there would be no
Parliament for the next three
months, Rowley said, "The Gov-
ernment, in an unsupervised man-
ner, will behave in a most reckless
manner to award contracts and
using state resources to campaign."
He said he was now asking the
population "to look at the govern-
ment s conduct in the next 90 days
to ensure it did not abuse its author-
ity to do all kinds of things to retain
Adding that the next three
months would be "a very uncom-
fortable period for the country but
the PNM will not be fazed by it,"
Rowley said he was confident the
electors had had enough and, on
election day, "will cast a ballot to
get rid of them."
Earlier, in another interview,
Finance and the Economy Minister
Larry Howai said if the PP was
returned to office there should be
no problem with the presentation
of the 2016 budget in September.
He said work had already started in
that regard and the budget could be
presented within three weeks of the
election if the PP were returned to
of election win
'Sept 7 get rid of UNC/PP Day'
Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
leader Jack Warner, who continued
to be trailed by a large group of
international media at the
Parliament yesterday, was brief in
his comment. He said the election
date announcement was "long
overdue" and the PM had "said
Warner had a brief spotlight in
yesterday's short Parliament
proceedings when he posed four of
six questions to ministers on the
agenda, witnessed by foreign media
who were in the parliament
But well before Parliament had
started, international media, from
Europe particularly, who had
assembled around the Parliament
asked Attorney General Garvin
Nicholas whether T&T was "giving"
Warner up to the US authorities,
who have indicted him on corruption
charges. Nicholas explained the
process, adding that the US had not
yet filed a formal request for
Asked if Warner was a
trustworthy man, Nicholas said that
was not for him to say. He added
that in T&T a person is innocent until
On T&T Guardian questions
regarding Warner's Lopinot platform
claims that he had "helped" Nicholas,
the latter said he couldn't recall what
had occurred 13 years ago and
couldn't say if Warner's claim held
merit. (See Page A10)
during a musical
interlude at an
by Guardian Media
As the Parliament is about to
be dissolved, Community
Development Minister Winston
Peters says the People's
Partnership Government had
nothing to be ashamed of.
Peters, the incumbent MP for
Mayaro, was responding to
questions from reporters outside
the Parliament yesterday,
minutes after Prime Minister
announced September 7 as the
date for the general elections.
Peters said the Government
worked hard and delivered a lot
for the people.
National Security Minister Carl
Alfonso, who was appointed a
few months ago, also spoke
favourably of the government's
stewardship, adding that the
major issue of crime was being
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