Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2015 Contents A5
Monday, September 14, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash Ramadhar
is calling on People s Partnership supporters to move beyond
petty issues of race so that the country can heal and unite
In a statement yesterday, Ramadhar said it had been one
week since the general election was held and everyone needed
to accept that the responsibility of the management of T&T
for the next five years had been passed to the People s National
"The Congress of the People, and our allies in the People s
Partnership coalition, have assumed the role of Parliamentary
Opposition, which suggests that non-governing parties may
oppose the decisions and actions of the sitting Cabinet while
remaining loyal to the source of the government s power,
which ultimately is the will of the people," Ramadhar said.
"For the COP, we hold that our role is that we should not
oppose for the sake of opposing. Rather, we must be mature
enough to add value to the policies, programmes and projects
identified by the ruling party and stoutly oppose those initiatives
that do not contribute to improving the quality of life, the
standard of living, the future prospects and long-term viability
of our nation s efforts to achieve sustainable development."
He added that the PNM s victory was a reflection that the
people have said, in no uncertain terms, that they wanted a
change in leadership and possibly in direction.
However, he said following the elections, some people on
both sides of the political divide seem not to accept the
people s voice as readily and have been issuing messages
which were not in the best interest of the unity of our people
"In the social media and in small groups throughout the
country, some seek to abuse the freedom of expression which
we enjoy by promoting a growing and overt racism which
is expressed in crude, vulgar and even violent terms," he
"This is not acceptable in a truly democratic and united
society that is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. We cannot
allow any space, whether by individuals or groups, for such
divisive and hateful messages to be spread in our national
conversation and thinking, whether it is fuelled by sentiments
based on winning or losing in our elections."
The COP, he added, has always been beyond race, region,
religion and gender.
"We continue to occupy the middle ground hoping not to
separate any elements of our nation, but rather to unite for
the overall economic, social, political and other development
and for the safeguarding of our natural and social environ-
ments," Ramadhar said.
He said the COP has remained firm in its assurance that
the vast majority of citizens do not subscribe to hatred and
denigration of others on any basis.
"T&T is one nation under God in whose eyes we are all
created equal. The election is over. We cannot change the
past and while we should seek to understand why things
turned out as they have, we cannot let it stand in the way
of our common future.
"Regardless of who is in positions of power, our future as
a nation is as bright as the children for whose sake we take
this nation forward. We must not allow the bitterness that
is evident among a few in recent days to infect our youth
and future generations with its deadly venom," Ramadhar
He also called on all leaders in society, whether in the
political, spiritual, social, cultural, educational and develop-
mental spheres, to join forces with the COP to ensure that
those who seek to take advantage of the circumstances to
sow division never succeed.
In the face of heavy criticism for not
congratulating newly-elected Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley in the wake
of the People s National Movement s
general election victory last Monday,
former prime minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar finally sought to do so by post-
ing a message on her Facebook page
Addressed as "A letter to citizens of
T&T," Persad-Bissessar hailed this coun-
try s democratic process, describing it as
a "truly precious thing" and adding that
the result of an election was an expression
of the will of the people.
"All persons who are elected should
take those responsibilities very seriously
indeed and I congratulate the hundreds
of thousands of you who exercised your
right to vote and made this possible.
"Again, I take this opportunity to con-
gratulate my opponent Dr Keith Rowley
on his victory. I wish him all the best for
the sake of all our people," Persad-Bisses-
During her concession speech at her
Penal constituency office, Persad-Bisses-
sar had failed to congratulate Rowley
This drew criticism from some seg-
ments of society and those members of
her party who are now arguing she should
step aside to allow the UNC to pick a
new leader and move on.
In the posting, Persad-Bissessar
acknowledged that citizens deserved com-
petent and effective governance, saying
it was her my hope that the new PNM
government could continue legacy of per-
formance and delivery of the former Peo-
ple s Partnership government.
"Personally, I am very proud that so
many promises were delivered during my
government s time in office. The People s
Partnership leaves our country in a far
better position today than what we inher-
ited in 2010," Persad-Bissessar said.
"I hope the new Prime Minister will
use all that has been achieved thus far,
and build on it so as to ensure that devel-
Saying that her passion was to serve
in public office, Persad-Bissessar said she
wanted to make a difference because she
wanted to improve lives.
"As the saying goes, with power comes
responsibility. I held office and power
and used both for the betterment of peo-
ple s lives.
"For the sake of our country let us all
hope Keith Rowley now follows that lead,"
She also assured the UNC s supporters
that the party would again rise and be
back stronger than ever.
"We may not hold the reins of power
but we will do our utmost to be patriotic
citizens and an effective opposition. Rest
assured the United National Congress
and the People s Partnership will be back
stronger than ever before," she said.
"In the meantime we will do our patri-
otic duty as members of the Opposition
and we will prepare a programme that
puts people at the centre and our country
at the front."
Last week, the former PM challenged
the result of the general election and
asked that it be declared null and void.
She also chastised the Elections and
Boundaries Commission (EBC) for what
she claimed was a sudden change in the
regulations, resulting in the entire process
In a letter at the time, Persad-Bissessar
had described the PNM s 23-18 victory
as unfair and blamed the extended hour
granted to citizens in Trinidad as playing
a key role in what she maintained was
a biased decision which brought a result
against her party.
online race rants
After criticism for poor concession speech
in Cedros yesterday,
during a 'Thank
You' motorcade for
MP for Point Fortin
and Minister of
Links Archive September 13th 2015 September 15th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page