Dr. Rowley in his victory address to the nation stated that he will not be a Prime Minister for the People’s National Movement (PNM) but a Prime Minister for everyone.
As the People's National Movement moves forward with the mandate given to us by the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago we are committed to sourcing the best and most talented people available.
It was this approach led by Dr. Rowley at the time that gave us the country's most comprehensive road map to development in the form of Vision 2020.
As newly appointed Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar has started off her tenure by criticizing a woman who has given high level and outstanding service to this country in the Senate. This we see as most unfortunate and in contradiction to her actions in the recent past.
We must recall that it was the UNC who pulled independent office holder Herbert Volney off the bench as a sitting judge to fight the St Joseph seat in 2010. Additionally, Mrs. Mary King was an Independent Senator who became a UNC senator and held the portfolio of Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs from May 28th, 2010.
The UNC is clearly divided on their public views of Mrs. Drayton's new portfolio as Kamla Persad-Bissessar is against but Vasant Bharath is in agreement.
Mrs. Helen Drayton is no longer on the independent bench in the Senate. She has recently taken up the Chairmanship of state owned Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG).
Mrs. Helen Drayton has a record of over 40 years’ service in both private and public organizations. She has served in the parliament of Trinidad and Tobago as an Independent Senator since 2007 and has also held many other senior portfolios and board appointments.
Her private sector record is impeccable with 24 years in the banking sector, having held senior
board level positions in the RBTT financial group. Mrs. Drayton holds an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of the West Indies Institute of Business.
She lectures in Business Communication, Networking and Collaboration, and Corporate Ethics.
In respect to her humanitarian efforts Mrs. Drayton served as the Chief Executive Officer of United Way Trinidad and Tobago and also Vice President of the World Federation of United Nations Association. She was a Board/Council member of several other organizations including: the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society, Blind Welfare Association, Express Children’s Fund and the United Nations Development Fund Programme (UNDP) National Steering Environment Small Grants Committee.
We therefore stand proudly by our decision to have such an outstanding woman as Mrs. Drayton take up the role of Chairman at CNMG.
We are confident that Mrs. Drayton will serve our country well in her new portfolio.
Public Relations Officer
September 4th 2015
MR. STEPHEN WILLIAMS
ACTING COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Police Administration Building
Cor. Edward and Sackville Streets
PORT OF SPAIN
RE: VIOLATION OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT - DR. ROODAL MOONILAL
I refer to the matter at caption.
Dr. Roodal Moonilal, the candidate for Oropouche East, and the recently appointed campaign manager for Mrs. Razia Ahmed, the candidate for the United National Congress in San Fernando West, has been making public statements over the last two (2) days which he knows to be false to the effect that (i) Mr. Faris Al-Rawi, the People’s National Movement candidate for San Fernando West, allegedly made a false declaration as to his qualification for election by setting out his address as No. 4 Ruth Avenue, San Fernando and (ii) that electors should not vote for Mr. Al-Rawi.
Mr. Al Rawi maintains a family home located at No. 4 Ruth Avenue, San Fernando. In any event, the address in Trinidad and Tobago of the declarant is not material to qualification as opposed to the fact that the declarant is a citizen and is resident in Trinidad, and as such, it is entirely incapable of supporting a challenge to Mr. Al Rawi’s candidacy, and Dr. Moonilal is well aware of this.
We are therefore firm in our view that the actions of Dr. Moonilal amount to undue influence contrary to section 98(2)(b) of the Representation of the People Act in that by use of a fraudulent device or contrivance, Dr. Moonilal is attempting to impede or prevent the free exercise of the franchise of electors in San Fernando West, and/or he is attempting to compel, induce or prevail upon electors in San Fernando West to refrain from voting in the election by falsely claiming that Mr. Al Rawi’s nomination is null and void.
People’s National Movement Continued Sheet
The People’s National Movement therefore requests that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service launch an immediate investigation into the matters set out above.
We are of course available at short notice to provide any further information which you may require.
The Kamla 2015 United National Congress Press Release dated September 3rd 2015 entitled “Moonilal files petition against Al Rawi” (the ‘publication’) is a desperate act by a desperate team staring at a massive defeat in San Fernando West.
Roodal Moonilal is now the campaign manager for Razia Ahmed after the firing of her last campaign manager this week. He is the proud sponsor of the ‘No Rowley Campaign’ and the Vernella Alleyne-Toppin defilement of commonwealth parliamentary practice.
Faris Al-Rawi has proudly maintained an address in San Fernando West since birth, and is perfectly entitled to do so. In any event, the issue of his address in Trinidad and Tobago is incapable of supporting any challenge in law with respect to his candidacy, and the UNC is well aware of this fact.
The publication is spurious and vexatious and has no merit in law whatsoever. Moonilal has failed to identify what specific sections of the Representation of the People Act have allegedly been breached, or for that matter, how the declaration is false in so far as Al-Rawi’s qualification to be elected is concerned, because he is simply incapable of so doing.
No challenge against Al-Rawi can be taken seriously and is destined to fail. The UNC has lost San Fernando West, and is desperately grasping at straws in an effort to distract the voters in that constituency.
Faris Al-Rawi and the People’s National Movement looks forward to defeating the UNC at the polls on September 7th 2015.
All of the electors of San Fernando West are well aware that Mr. Faris Al Rawi, the People’s National Movement candidate for that constituency, maintains an address at his family home at Ruth Avenue, San Fernando.
Mr. Al-Rawi is nevertheless very grateful for the opinion of Ramesh L. Maharaj S.C. in today’s Guardian newspaper to the effect that “no court of law would uphold a petition to remove Al-Rawi”, “where a person lives as a candidate has no bearings to challenge the result of an election or the candidacy” and “In T&T a person can live anywhere and be a candidate for any constituency. It does not challenge the eligibility of the candidate. No court will entertain such a petition to challenge the result of an election for that reason.”
Mr. Al-Rawi is also pleased to receive advice from Douglas Mendes S.C., a recognised expert in election petitions throughout the Caribbean, who has confirmed that there is no basis in law to challenge his candidacy. Mr. Mendes S.C. has stated:
“residence in the constituency in which you are nominated is not a qualification of eligibility to be elected. Neither does the making of a false declaration as to the address stated on Form 39 (which is not the facts in this case) constitute such a disqualification. I have seen no provision to that effect. In short, it is legal nonsense to suggest that if elected, your election can be successfully challenged on this basis”
The continued pursuit of this absolute nonsense by the UNC is a clear reflection of their complete desperation, in that they are purposefully ignoring the obvious flaws in their argument, both in law and simple logic and it is a demonstration of the lengths they are prepared to go in a futile attempt to salvage the unsalvageable.
Mr. Al Rawi is Red and Ready and looks forward to looking after the constituency of San Fernando West as its next Member of Parliament.
An address to the Nation
By the Leader of the Opposition
And the Political Leader of the People’s National Movement
On this the 53rd anniversary of our country's proud independence, it is tempting to look back and think that the glorious successes of this country, were destined to happen -that the path to the rich tapestry that is Trinidad and Tobago, was easy and without trial, uncertainty and sometimes even turmoil.
Early in our nation's history we had the Canboulay riots of 1881 and the Water Riots of 1903. The former was a struggle for the freedom of self-expression, launched a half a century after the end of Slavery. The Water Riots two decades later, sought to redress the inequities of our colonial system of government. In 1937 we had the pioneers, Butler and Rienzi, uniting two worlds in a common struggle against working conditions and racism in the cane fields and oil fields of our country. The common yearning in all of these demonstrations was a growing sense of nationalism - the labour pains of our country being formed.
It was only on January 15th 1956 under the newly formed People's National Movement, led by Dr Eric Williams, did we adopt the People's Charter; a statement of fundamental principles which became the convention, that crystalized a people's aspiration; and galvanized a national movement that cut across all races, creeds, religions and classes uniting for the common good. The movement was a rally for all, out of which our very country was born. In more recent history we have endured multiple economic downturns - the oil shock of the 80's, having to manage our way out of the clutches of the IMF and the global financial crisis of 2007. We also had significant threats to our peace and security in 1970 and 1990. I say this, to show that as a people and a country, we have faced many days and nights where our future looked bleak, uncertain - days that tested our grit and tenacity as a people, against what seemed at the time, circumstances impossible to overcome. When our peace and victory was in doubt; when our circumstances were at their worst, we held fast and did our best. And as one, we prevailed. Together we aspired with boundless faith and together we achieved.
In this our 53rd year of independence we find ourselves again facing challenges across the landscape of government and markets and the very value system on which this country was founded. We meet this anniversary of independence, with our people's patience and confidence in our Government, at a historic low. We have witnessed behaviours and actions from high office holders, that we could not previously fathom.
Fundamental rights were stripped away by an unexplained State of Emergency. We have seen openly biased attempts to tamper with our electoral system. We have seen an epidemic of corruption in all forms, and stood horrified by the indignity and arrogance of those whom we have elected to serve us.
We have seen our Parliament misused to meet unjust and undemocratic agendas. We sat confused through numerous Cabinet reshuffles and ministerial firings and hirings.
We have seen a public crisis of confidence in our independent institutions, on which our democracy is seated. In the past months I have spoken to large swathes of citizens, all concerned, as it seems that bad behaviour in public and private office has been protected and even rewarded. They were disenchanted that the state institutions on which we depend to seek our interest, were unwilling or unable to intervene, or bring resolution or clarity to issues before us.
I am sure that in recent months, we have all been paying attention to the price of oil and gas and the road ahead will require sound management, planning and clear heads. But we face a far bigger challenge than the decline in oil revenue; and that is the decline in confidence and optimism of our people. What this country deserves now is hope, and that the Government will govern for you and not govern for themselves.
In this 53rd year of independence, what our nation deserves - all races, all religions, all classes and all political persuasions is what was required in our first year of independence good government with vision; one that will govern with honesty, for all. It is time to move away from the political and social attitudes of, if you lose, I win. Progress is made from a wider vision and embrace.
While our backgrounds and ethnicities may be different, our anxieties for our children are the same; our aspirations for our families and country are the same.
If our history shows us anything, it shows us that what unites us is bigger than what divides us. It shows us that the spirit that lives in us as a people, that brought us through every challenge we have faced in our journey to today, will be the spirit that brings us through any we may face in the future.
I hold an unshakable belief that everything that is wrong with our country can be fixed, with everything that is right in our country. I have an abiding belief that the dignity and decency of our citizens form the backbone upon which our past and future was, and still is dependent and it is what our Government must reflect. I believe in our national motto
"TOGETHER WE ASPIRE TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE".
I believe that once we pull together, all interest groups: business and industry, social networks, Labour, NGOs and faith-based organisations and Government, we could unlock the potential of what is, a sleeping giant that is Trinidad and Tobago.
I have seen too many for too long sitting on the sidelines, numbed by the constant political rancour and harbouring disappointment and anger. For too long, too many people have left it all up to the Government. Too many of our citizens are too increasingly dependent on the Government. We have seen that sometimes the Government and red tape are the problem. But I say to you now, don't get angry. Get active. Get involved and build your community. Build your businesses. Build yourselves and your lives; and in doing so, build your country.
Seize the opportunities of education that your fellow citizens provide you. Look after your health.
We must acknowledge that in some areas we must focus on reforming systems that reward failure and instead refocus them on success. Move away from systems built on mediocrity and build compassionate meritocracies and unlock the full potential of our human resources. We must retool an ailing education system and achieve better student preparations and outcomes. We need to expand the economy to ensure upward mobility, because there are tens of thousands of young people stuck in positions below their qualifications and potential. I hold the view that while we have been blessed with great natural resources, the best resource in any country is its people; and this will be our focus in the next 5 years.
As it happens, I give this Independence Day address exactly seven days before a General Election. An election is a time when emotions and rhetoric are high.
It is a time when people are called on to examine the plans, the party, and the record of who is stepping forward for public service. It is a time to choose a direction for yourself and your country. It was exactly this choice we wanted as a people 53 years ago.
But this election is different. Very different. This election is a test of us as a people and what we are prepared to accept and what we are prepared to condone. This is a test of our common sense; of who we are and who we have become.
This is a test of basic dignity, the basic decency of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. This election your vote will be the difference between the country we have, and the country we want.
This election I say to you, if you ever had to vote country first, this is that election. When you go to the polls, choose to restore our country's dignity and decency in public office, and in public affairs.
I know that there are many of you who do not believe that real political change could come, or that the PNM could bring it. I say to you now, if we all work together we can and would do it, as we have done it throughout the history of this country. Fifty-three years ago, public service was an endeavour for nobility of intention, intellectual debate, honest ideas, balanced judgment, compassion, dedicated service and most of all an unwavering commitment to nation-building. I say to you - why can't it be that again?
The only reason we are here is because the generations before us were unafraid to do what was hard; to do what was needed even when success was uncertain; to do what they had to, with boundless faith, to keep the dream of this great country alive for their children.
I call on all citizens to stop waiting for change but make a change in your life and your country for the better. We are the second wave of nation builders and it's time for us to pick up our tools and build our nation "with boundless faith in our destiny".
LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER.
Go out and vote
And may God bless you
May may God Bless our Nation