Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2015 Contents B2
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
As the competition to
elect the first Youth
Prime Minister in
T&T heats up, candidates who
have moved on to round two
were given a challenge.
The challenge was to base
their respective speeches on
a topic covered in one of the
last four Sunday Guardian edi-
torials. Candidates were asked
to use their creativity and link
the area discussed to a youth
policy that they will eventually
Last week was also the
beginning of their weekly
mentoring sessions. In the first
session, the Youth Elect TT
candidates looked at political
awareness and campaign tac-
Out of last week s nine can-
didates, seven moved on in
the race. One of them, Richard
Jaggassar, announced his
withdrawal, while 19-year-old
Abigail Coldero was voted out.
These seven remaining can-
didates will now prepare for
the next round, where they
will be judged not only by the
panel of judges but those con-
necting and logging on via
social networking websites
Facebook and Twitter.
The voting system will
comprise 60 per cent social
media votes and 40 per cent
Some 31 candidates initially
auditioned for Youth Elect and
nearing the climax of the
competition only two will go
through and battle in a
debate-style showdown. The
final two candidates will be
required to present a mani-
festo, which they will be
drilled on. From that, T&T s
first Youth Prime Minister will
Air getting rare
Tobago candidate Shomari Hector,
26, addressed the issue of "Con-
stitution Amendment and Leg-
islative Reform," based on May 24th Sun-
day Guardian editorial titled "Public
Procurement an Absolute Necessity" in
the last round of Youth Elect TT, which
went to Trincity Mall, Trincity.
Hector said some of the major issues
affecting the lives of nationals include
improper motives for awarding contracts,
preferential treatment of key business-
people who finance campaigns, as well as
inconsistent inequitable practices related
to corruption in the public sector.
He said a diagnosis of some of these
issues revealed that institutional strength-
ening was necessary but that there was
a lack of will, enthusiasm and motivation
to carry out this process.
He proposed legislative reform and
implementation as an absolute necessity
to ensure fair, ethical and transparent prac-
tices related to how state resources are
put to service.
"There should be also independent leg-
islative authorities to watch over and
defend collective interest, particularly as
it speaks to the matter of public sector
disbursement of procurements," he added.
Hector said he believes that there must
be a charge for people who hold trusted
offices and violate public trust or appear
to have violated public trust.
"They must be held accountable," he
This week's seven
Joey Harrynanan delivered some innovation to the competition when
he announced the introduction of a Youth Connect TT App, which
he will make available to the public in the next two weeks, during
his campaign trail speech.
The Youth Connect TT App will allow people, especially the youths,
to get updates on critical issues "and stay connected, ultimately creating
a stronger youth voice," he announced.
"We the youth must be the watchdogs of integrity. And we can only
do this if we are connected," Harrynanan said.
The App, he added will be used to compliment a Youth in Integrity
Policy, which he has proposed.
The policy will have three main objectives:
1. To increase an understanding of the youth role in preserving integrity
through introduction of the topic in the school curriculum.
2. Empower, educate and engage youth in the fight against corruption.
This can be achieved by offering undergraduate programmes in Youth
Studies and Development at our local universities
3. Increase youth participation in decision-making processes to
ensure transparent decisions are taken.
"Dinosaurs, as we know, lived on the earth millions of years
ago. However, they eventually became extinct.
"Today, I introduce you to a quality that will become as extinct
as a dinosaur if we the youth don t do something now! That
quality is, Integrity!" Harrynanan belted out in his speech,
which focussed on a Sunday Guardian editorial titled "Probe
The editorial, Harrynanan told the audience, questioned
why "Clico decided to pay the directors and senior offi-
cers...before the completion and submission of the Colman
Commission of Enquiry Report."
"Is it a case of putting the cart before the horse? Or
did somebody thief the horse?" he asked.
"Friends, this is the Central Bank of T&T, not a coffee
shop! Where is the honesty and integrity in these insti-
He added, "Young people cannot sit by and watch
this madness of dishonesty and filthy examples from
leaders corrupting our future. How much longer will
we allow our leaders to fail us? Something has to
be done! But who will do it? Countries such as
Norway, Finland and the Maldives have recognised
that youth play an integral role in preserving
Noting that in T&T there are over 450,000
young people, Harrynanan said, "We are the
ideal group to preserve integrity in T&T."
See Page B39
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