Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 26th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 26, 2013
A video of Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar which has gone
viral on Facebook has been
described by her as an "all-time
Persad-Bissessar was fielding ques-
tions from members of the media
after yesterday s launch of the new
Highway Patrol Unit.
The video, which was described
by UNC deputy political leader Suruj
Rambachan as "politically motivated,"
showed Persad-Bissessar addressing
UNC supporters at Rienzi Complex,
Couva, on Monday night smiling
broadly, waving flags and singing.
Saying this was not the first time
that "such a video" had been put up,
Persad-Bissessar said, "I suggest it
would not be the last."
She said it has reached a point
where everything she did or say has
come under full scrutiny because of
her public portfolio.
"I think it has gone to an all-time
low in terms of comments that are
posted but I m not fazed by those
matters. I have never been fazed. I
continue to do the best I can in the
capacity and in the job that I hold."
In defence of the PM, Rambachan
said Persad-Bissessar was "merely
happy" that the UNC had won five
corporations to the People s National
Movement s eight and that the UNC
had not won fewer votes.
He said supporters were all
"euphoric." Rambachan said, "We
did much better than we had thought
we were going to do."
Kamla says Facebook
video an 'all-time low'
STORIES BY GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Despite the People s National
Movement (PNM) capturing
eight of the 14 regional corpora-
tions contested on Monday,
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar says she is pleased by
the UNC s performance at the
Persad-Bissessar was speaking
at the launch of the new Highway
Patrol Unit at the Police Training
Academy, St James, yesterday.
Saying there was "great enthu-
siasm" from all quarters during
the elections, Persad-Bissessar
said this was a tribute that democ-
racy was very much alive in the
"For the first time we are seeing
now the voices of minorities would
be represented on corporations
because of the legislation we have
passed on the appointment of
aldermen," Persad-Bissessar said.
She said midterm was always a
very difficult time for any gov-
ernment but she was confident
the People s Partnership Govern-
ment would continue to gain
momentum as the 2015 general
On conflicting results from the
Elections and Boundaries Com-
mission (EBC), Persad-Bissessar
said she has yet to receive official
"Each day we are getting dif-
ferent numbers. I would not want
to comment until I have those
"There was one point where it
was being reported in the media
that the Siparia corporation was
a hung corporation and today
(yesterday) it is being reported it
is not a hung corporation, all
because we do not have the final
The elections saw the highest
turnout ever in a local government
poll, as preliminary EBC figures
showed on Friday.
Rather than being the lowest
turnout ever, as was earlier report-
ed, the EBC said this was the
opposite, as 43.2 per cent, which
represented 447,083 people, voted.
On comments by interim leader
of the Independent Liberal Party
(ILP) Jack Warner, who said pro-
portional representation (PR) had
backfired on the Government fol-
lowing the election results, Per-
sad-Bissessar was adamant this
was not the case.
"If anything has backfired on
a government, that has. They
thought they would have caught
us (the ILP) flatfooted bringing
PR at the 11th hour, at the last
minute. PR has now come back
to haunt them in a way unimag-
inable," Warner said.
maintained that proportional rep-
resentation was a success.
"Indeed, it has gone exactly as
we had envisaged it. It has worked.
I think it is a very democratic way
"No, it did not backfire. In fact,
in the debate we did show how
this could happen and in areas,
for example, where the PNM
would never have gotten an alder-
man, for example, they would be
getting one. So it has worked won-
derfully well. I have not seen any-
thing in it that is contrary to true
democratic process," Persad-
PM awaiting official
word on elections results
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar sits in one of the new highway
patrol cars yesterday, at the Police Training Academy, St James.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
To clamp down on reckless driving
and to enhance visibility on the roads,
the Police Service has received 228 addi-
tional cars and is expected to receive
234 over the next two months.
Making the announcement yesterday
was acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams at the launch of the new High-
way Patrol Unit.
"In keeping with the expansion of our
fleet, it was important for us to focus
on a particular unit, that of the Highway
Patrol Branch and we have identified the
need for uplifting visibility and impact
of the Highway Patrol Branch.
"We have had challenges around roads
policing and the number of fatalities and
accidents over time," Williams said.
Also speaking was National Security
Minister Gary Griffith who said radar
speed guns were expected to be intro-
Saying it was not the individual police-
man who was faltering, Griffith laid the
blame on the system.
"I intend to rectify the shortcomings
of the system and this also includes the
importance for accountability and meas-
urement of performance," Griffith said.
He said accountability must not be
seen only as a mechanism for discipline
but was also be used as an avenue for
"When you have police officers putting
their lives on the line every day, there
should be some mechanism to measure
their performance and they should be
"Apart from that, to ensure maximum
success and good performance requires
proper administrative, financial and leg-
He said training was also an important
aspect of improving the performance of
law enforcement officials.
"It is not just the assets that are
required but having proper mechanisms
to ensure these assets do not shut down
after a few months and hence a system
would be set up to ensure that these
vehicles would be operational as much
as possible through proper maintenance
systems, so they would be on the road
on patrols and not in the garage."
More cars for cops
in two months
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