Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 24th 2015 Contents B1
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San Fernando West independent
candidate, Jowelle De Souza, insists
that her turn at the polls on Sep-
tember 7 "will be the first and the
last time that I am into this."
The 41-year-old hair stylist, phi-
lanthropist and animal welfare
activist says her decision to run came
about a year ago when she detected
a high level of dissatisfaction with
the quality of representation in the
She however admits to have been
"born into the UNC (United National
Congress) family" and still gives the
People s Partnership administration,
on a scale of one to ten, a "seven"
and the People s National Movement
(PNM) a "zero" for acceptability.
"I honestly thought that we the
people of San Fernando...were so
completely fed-up of the way politics
ran in T&T that we were really ready
to vote for an independent to show
the rest of the country that we are
going put the first independent in
the House of Representative to be
able to do what is right for the coun-
try," De Souza told T&T Guardian
at her San Fernando salon.
"Yet a year down the line I still
find that people talk about party
politics," she added. "But we have
until September 8 to see if that is
so."In light of this, what does the San
Fernando West candidate consider
to be her chance of winning?
"As of now, I see two political
parties frustrating the life out of
T&T...but you can never tell," she
De Souza s campaign focuses
almost exclusively on development
priorities for the constituency and
the city s waterfront plans are high
up on the agenda.
"We are a dying city," she con-
tended. "In the last 15 years we have
But the 41-year-old candidate also
has strong views on some of the
headline issues she can be expected
to confront should she win the seat.
She believes, for example, that
parliamentarians should not also be
permitted to hold ministerial posi-
tions and this should be reflected
in the country s constitution. In her
case, she suggests, this question
would not arise since she would have
no political leader to dictate to her.
"The government has veto power,
so if the prime minister says to take
a ministerial position, you take a
ministerial position, and as an MP
one would suffer," she said.
De Souza will also not stand in
the way of the death penalty. "We
have a very bad and a very high
crime rate here in Trinidad and I
support the death penalty 100 per
cent," she said.
The popular southern hair stylist
is also an advocate of diversifying
the economy by further ventures
into the tourism and financial serv-
ices sector, citing Caribbean coun-
tries such as Sint Maarten, Curacao
and the Cayman Islands.
On the question of "marriage
equality", or "same-sex marriage",
as recently ruled by the US Supreme
Court, she is more reticent and
describes the issue as "tender".
"T&T has no cases of that as we
speak," she said. "It would be pre-
mature of me to come here now and
discuss that when there has been
"I will tell you that there will be
no one coming with that in the fore-
front right now," De Souza said. "We
are not a First World nation. I don t
think that people are thinking of
She however concedes that "there
are people who live together."
"They are very happy with that
and so it makes me happy that they
are happy with that," she added. "It
is a premature thing to think about
it."The San Fernando West candidate
benefited from sex reassignment
surgery in 1993 and her candidacy
has reportedly raised eyebrows in
De Souza has however been
nationally recognised for her work
as an animal rights activist, winning
a Humming Bird Medal (Bronze) in
"One of the criteria for first world
nation is how we treat our animals,"
she said. "It is a very high priority
(and) in every good (holy) book they
speak about animals.
"I put my animals first in my life,
and everybody else..." she smiles
broadly and does not finish the sen-
tence. She however plans to com-
plete the elections course, win, lose
Political disturbance and armed conflict
in the Middle East since 2010 have had
the unintended consequence of making
the air cleaner.
Researchers say that in countries like
Syria and Iraq, levels of air pollutants
have fallen dramatically.
The amount of nitrogen dioxide in the
air over Damascus has fallen by up to 50
per cent since start of the civil war.
The authors believe their work has
important lessons for projections of
Since 2004, scientists have been able
to monitor atmospheric pollutants with
high levels of precision thanks to the
deployment of the Ozone Monitoring
Instrument onboard the Nasa Aura
This new study used data from the
spacecraft to see how economic, political
and military activity has impacted levels
of pollutants in and around the Middle
East over the past decade.
Looking at levels of nitrogen oxides
(NOx) that are generated from the
burning of fossil fuels especially in
transport, the team found a complex and
In countries like Syria, where millions of
people have attempted to flee the
fighting since 2011, levels of nitrogen
dioxide plummeted over Damascus and
Middle East conflict drastically 'improves air quality'
of San Fernando
De Souza said her decision to run came about a year ago when she detected a high level of dissatisfaction with the
quality of representation in the constituency.
Jowelle De Souza is probably not
going to win in her constituency but
there is widespread support for her
cause on social media.
"She believes, for example, that parliamentarians
should not also be permitted to hold ministerial
positions and this should be reflected in the country's
constitution. In her case, she suggests, this question
would not arise since she would have no political leader
to dictate to her."
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