Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2015 Contents B40
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Ezra Bartholomew, if given that
chance as the Youth Prime
Minister, says he will stamp
out even the perception of corruption
by advancing the process of campaign
Addressing scores of people at
Trincity Mall during round two of the
competition, Bartholomew, 28, said
citizens of T&T have been bombarded
with multiple stories relating to party
financing from the 2010 general elec-
tion. This, he said, could have been
avoided if a system of transparency
and accountability existed in party
"Let us think for a brief moment
about how different the political arena
would be if we knew what was hap-
pening within our political parties?
Who are the financiers and where the
money is coming from? Would this
influence how you vote? "Large sums
of monies are spent on campaigns
with no accountability. This is some-
thing that we will witness first-hand
in the next two and a half
months," Bartholomew said.
"This should ve been
addressed through the imple-
mentation and enforcement of
campaign finance reform."
He added that there are
many young people inter-
ested in politics and who
have dreams of trans-
forming this current sys-
tem, but he said he believes
they are placed in a disad-
vantaged situation due to a lack
"These hopeful politicians can-
not compete with the power and
might wielded by the established
parties for several reasons. The playing
field is uneven!" he said.
Giving a solution, Bartholomew
said he will establish an independent
elections oversight unit that would
will be responsible for:
1. The registration of political parties
2. The disbursement of any state
funding to registered parties as part
of campaign finances (This can be
advantageous to the youth and new
3. Financial reporting of sources of
campaign funds by political parties
4. Dissemination of this information
(registered political parties and sources
of campaign financing) to the public.
This will allow the public to make an
informed decision when voting.
5. Update the "Representation of
the People Act" in relation to the
amount of funds received and spent.
6. Ensure meaningful campaigning
based on candidates ability to com-
pete on issues and their plans to deal
with these issues, rather than mon-
Ships must have anchors
Lennox Roberts gave a fiery and thought provoking
address on a ship named "Clico" in his platform
Roberts, 31, based his campaign speech on a June 14
Sunday Guardian editorial titled "Probe CLICO Pay-
Saying the issue was one that has deeply hurt the
citizens of T&T, Roberts said, "Clico, my dear friends,
was a ship without an anchor, sailing throughout T&T
without a captain at the helm. Citizens, many of whom
are not wealthy, gave in some cases their last $1, with the
promise of benefits at a particular milestone."
He added that the Clico ship reminded him of another
ship called Bernie Madoff, who schemed investors of over
US$60 billion in the United States.
"The difference between these two ships my dear
friends, is that Bernie Madoff faced the courts of the USA
and within one year he was found guilty and is presently
serving a sentence of 150 years in prison," Roberts said.
"But not so in T&T, the Clico ship sank and the directors
are being paid for a job well done."
He questioned the decision to pay Clico s directors and
senior officers, a decision he believes was short-sighted,
reckless and naïve.
Roberts called on the Central Bank to conclude the
investigation into who ordered the payment and make
the results public.
He made reference to the Insurance Bill 2015, noting
some of the policy proposed will help ensure that such
a negative financial trauma does not reoccur.
The Central Bank needs to appoint a regulator inde-
pendent of insurance companies to monitor, review and
report yearly to the Central Bank on the financial standing
of such companies, he said, to ensure the companies are
operating above board at all times and, more importantly,
to address any issues which may crop up immediately
thus preventing a collapse of Clico proportions.
"The last bailout cost us $20 billion. That could have
gone towards schools, hospitals, human development pro-
grammes and so much more," he added.
'The difference between these two
ships my dear friends, is that Bernie
Madoff faced the courts of the
USA and within one year he was
found guilty and is presently
serving a sentence of
150 years in prison.'
From Page B39
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