Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, August 29, 2015
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Transport Minister Stephen
Cadiz says statements made by
People s National Movement
(PNM) political leader Dr Keith
Rowley concerning the cost of
the Motor Vehicle Authority were
"wrong and totally misleading."
At a political meeting on Thurs-
day night at Massy carpark, St
Augustine, he claimed the cost of
the facility at Caroni had been
budgeted for at $339 million but
was now over $1 billion.
"That was typical of the Oppo-
sition Leader to throw out figures
without any thought and research.
Those figures were totally erro-
neous," Cadiz said yesterday, when
asked to respond to Rowley s
He said Rowley s figures were
from an estimated budget which
had been rejected by the Govern-
"At no time did the Ministry of
Transport accept any billion-dollar
proposal for the Motor Vehicle
Cadiz said the MVA headquar-
ters was completed within budget
but was part of a multiple-facility
project, which included new or
refurbished offices in Arima, San
Fernando and Tobago.
Cadiz said the Caroni head
office was constructed at a cost
of $232 million. The contract was
awarded to United National Con-
gress party financier Super Indus-
trial Services. And he estimated
the other facilities will be com-
pleted at a cost of about $200
million. He said the MVA will pro-
vide counter and full inspection
Rowley told supporters at the
political meeting that the cost of
the facility, which included a new
head office and other buildings
across the country had increased
from the original estimated price
of $339 million to over $1 billion.
Rowley said the cost of the new
facility had been estimated to cost
$45 million when the Kamla Per-
The Opposition Leader also said
the Prime Minister rushed to have
the Children s Hospital construct-
ed in Couva and weeks after it
was opened it was only collecting
cobweb and dust as there was no
staff to work there.
He also accused the People s
Partnership Government of failing
to renew the contracts of some
8,000 people since it assumed
office in 2010. Rowley was also
critical of the PP s 2015 election
manifesto, saying the proposal to
make the Brian Lara Stadium at
Tarouba into an sporting academy
was a laughing matter.
Chief Secretary of the Tobago
House of Assembly and deputy
political leader of the PNM, Orville
London also spoke at the meeting
saying that he was confident the
PNM would be returned to power
after the September 7 election.
He said the two Tobago candi-
dates were going to be among the
party s winning candidates. He
told PNM supporters they should
ensure the party win the elections
to restore good governance to the
"On September 7, let s do this
in defence of our nation," he said.
London said the election was
"a battle for the soul of the
London said Finance and the
Economy Minister Larry Howai s
admission that the budget has to
be adjusted was a clear indication
that the country was in real trou-
"This country is in free fall and
you need somebody with the
courage, the resilience, with the
vision and the instrument to
ensure that we rescue T&T," he
A newspaper editor-in-chief and a
former attorney general are among a
delegation of Commonwealth Observ-
er Group expected in Port-of-Spain
for next month s general election.
The delegation is to be led by former
Speaker and the chair of the Solomon
Islands political parties, Sir Paul Tovua,
editor-in-chief of the Searchlight pub-
lication of St Vincent and the
Grenadines and former attorney general
of the Bahamas Alfred Sears QC.
Other members are executive direc-
tor, Democracy Watch, Taleya Rehman,
from Bangladesh, executive director,
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand,
Aaron Hape and electoral officer,
Mawethu Mosery from South Africa.
A release issued by the common-
wealth said the team of observers was
constituted by commonwealth secretary
general Kamalesh Sharma following a
request from Prime Minister Kamla
Sharma said: "T&T is a committed
and valued member of the common-
wealth, and we are pleased to deploy
observers for these important elections."
Sharma said, "the presence of our
observers is an expression of the endur-
ing commonwealth partnership with
the people of T&T as they exercise their
right to choose their leaders and shape
the future of their country."
The release said the observers will
assess the various factors affecting the
credibility of the electoral process as a
"They will consider the pre-electoral
environment, the voting process, count-
ing and tabulation procedures and the
announcement of results," it added.
According to the release, the mission
is "independent and will determine in
its own judgment whether the elections
have been conducted according to the
standards to which T&T has committed
itself, with reference to its own elec-
tion-related legislation as well as rel-
evant regional, commonwealth and
It said the commonwealth observers
"will act impartially and will adhere to
the standards of the International Dec-
laration of Principles for Election Obser-
vation, to which the commonwealth is
The team is expected in Port-of-
Spain on Monday for the election,
which will be held on September 7.
Special electors head to the polls on
Rowley claims MVA
passes $1 billion bill
...Cadiz dismisses misleading figure
PNM supporters during the party's public meeting at Massy carpark in St Augustine on Thursday.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
team arrives Monday
PNM's political leader Dr Keith Rowley reviews a document signed by Joint
Trade Union Movement (JTUM) president Ancel Roget, left, sealing a labour
agreement commitment between JTUM and the People's National Movement
at Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain on Thursday. Also in photo is PNM's chairman
Franklin Khan. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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