Rowley- UNC and PNM not the same

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 10:00

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