The PNM’s principles are sound, PNM’s hands are clean and its doors are open.
That was Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s pitch to voters at yesterday’s PNM 49th convention and launch of the PNM’s Local Government election campaign, based on the theme “Getting the Job Done.”
Rowley’s hour-long address to the faithful at the Queen’s Park Savannah focused on the positives of his government’s term culminated the all-day event designed to rally PNM troops for the December 2, Local Government poll.
In Couva, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also rallied UNC supporters with a similarly long address at her UNC party’s campaign launch.
PNM’s 139 local government candidates, as well as UNC’s and other parties’ participants in the election, will file nomination papers today at Election and Boundaries Commission offices throughout Trinidad.
Referring to the election, Rowley said, “Local Government elections are once again upon us resting easy on our PNM minds....this is an event that our non-believer political opponents were so sure would never come, that they called press conferences to announce their own vision that local government elections will not be called. That’s just a teeny weeny little example of their own lack of trust in our nation and its national business,”
“Today we presented 139 candidates, one for every electoral seat in Trinidad. Some are experienced, others are new and keen to serve you.
They come to you wherever you are.
They don’t come as over ambitious individuals but as standard-bearers representing this great party...I ask you to support them...join with them to influence our local government initiatives because there too we’re getting the job done.”
Wooing support from other parties, he noted the PNM had appointed former UNC, NAR and PP officials to posts, “Every day we in the PNM welcome patriotic citizens into our ranks - those who wish to serve their country.
Our principles are sound. Our hands are clean, our doors are wide open—welcome to the PNM.”
He added, “The recession is receding, growth is returning, the worst is almost over. Our best days are ahead of us, hard times are temporary, but we’re moving in the right direction, a new society is being built on a sustainable prosperity for all.”
Rowley’s address focused on the “new society” which he said PNM is building. He gave an account of Government’s stewardship and what is projected. He said it was time people thought about what they wanted to see in the new society,” We’re doing it right and getting it done...we have the potential for greatness but to realise it we must change now.”
He said the best choice is the PNM, “Which is building a sustainable and healthy prosperity—not the UNC who will spend every dollar we earn and borrow three times more to waste and embezzle and then stick you with the bill. The showdown you’ve felt, the adjustments you’ve made is all of us paying back the UNC’s short period of profligacy, outright thievery and recklessness.”
“There are many that feel that politics does not concern them, that their voice doesn’t matter or that all parties are the same.
There is no statement that could be further from the truth. The difference is as distinct as the colour of the rainbow. We (PNM) are red, we’re not yellow or blue.”
“The consequence of not selecting the best government for the society have far-reaching long-lasting consequences.
The generations in T&T of all races, classes, colours, creeds don’t have the luxury of that apathy.
It’s the generations coming up which will be robbed if we don’t make the difficult decisions today,” he said, adding there’s no place in a new society for belief that one’s voice didn’t matter or one couldn’t succeed.”
Rowley added, “The previous government spent us into bankruptcy, trying to buy themselves a second term, they took expectations to a point beyond reality and sustainability and if we didn’t do the same, we’d be seen as heartless, incompetent and uncaring.”
“But it takes more care and discipline to be responsible with your money. When a government cares more about their own political future than they do about the people they serve, then they can promise any and everything and the chaos comes. That’s your choice— between our party and the others.”
“For those who think parties are all the same, the PNM represents progress and good order.
Those on the other side represent corruption, chaos and collapse.”
Rowley said facts and figures will show T&T isn’t a failed state. He said T&T is a proud little nation, striving manfully in a hostile world, “But incidentally the irony of this unkind “failed” label is coming from those elites who suck the most from what little we have whilst under-performing in their social contributions.”
Rowley defended selection of the OWTU as preferred bidder for the Petrotrin refinery, as part of his new society thrust. He said if OWTU could reignite the refinery’s flames it would be a beacon for what’s possible for everybody. PNM officials estimated “thousands” attended yesterday’s event.
Reporter: Gail Alexander