Lee Sing: PPM will bring real change to local government

Date: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 11:15

Leader of the Port Of Spain People’s Movement (PPM), Louis Lee Sing, has condemned what he says is dirty politics being played by the People’s National Movement (PNM).

The former Port of Spain mayor is taking issue with what he says is commentary coming from the PNM’s various spokespersons on several talk shows.

Mr Lee Sing told us those persons are suggesting that he has less than desirable party financiers.

According to Mr Lee Sing, what's behind the mudslinging is the ruling PNM's fear that the party could lose its crown jewel, Port of Spain, in the local government election, to the PPM, which will bring real change to local government.

The former Port of Spain mayor says his campaign is focussed on a proper development plan for the capital city, which will see the removal of street dwellers, proper numbering of buildings and posting of street signs, among other initiatives.

The PPM leader also says under the party's stewardship of the city corporation, there will increased citizen partnership in the city's operations—via residential associations—with citizens determining the priorities for the corporation.

“Traditionally things have been fashioned at City Hall and done in the communities,” he explains. “For the first time, the communities will have a voice in saying, for example ‘this wall is more important than that drain’.”

He adds: “It is on the basis of the priorities that we would have established with each community that we will be able to do our work programme.”

And Louis Lee Sing maintains the People’s National Movement (PNM) has done almost nothing to advance local government reform in this country.

He says the PNM campaigned for local government reform in several election cycles, and has continually failed to ensure that such reform takes place. He believes the ruling party needs to account to country for this failure to do better by citizens, at the local government level.

According to Mr Lee Sing, the People’s Partnership government, when it was in office, undertook major local government reform initiatives.

He points to the fact that councillors now have offices from which to administrate their districts, as well as moves for comprehensive representation on the local government councils.

“It was Kamla Persad Bissessar’s administration, who introduced the proportional representation vote for the selection of aldermen. Previously, it was ‘winner takes all’,” Mr Lee Sing points out. “Now, a party that may have garnered most of the votes, and may not have won most of the seats, could still form the leadership of the council if it garners the votes to give it the aldermen.”

The former mayor says that kind of legislation is progressive, and the PNM has nothing that can improve upon or surpass that.

 

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