Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley meets a child during a walkabout in Siparia earlier this week.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced on Tuesday night that the next borough in Trinidad will be Siparia.

This, he said, will happen as soon as the local government reform legislation is passed.

The constituency has been held by Opposition Leader and political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) Kamla Persad-Bissessar since 1995.

Rowley was speaking at a Peoples National Movement (PNM) political meeting at the Siparia Market.

He said, “The next borough in Trinidad will be the borough of Siparia. And that is not news tonight, I promised you that in the last election and I expected that we would have gone further with respect to the reform. But as soon as the legislation is passed and we are on that track the next borough in Trinidad will be the borough of Siparia.”

Rowley said he was disappointed that UNC-held regional corporations would focus on “telling lies” instead of up keeping its districts.

He said during a walkabout in Siparia, he noticed over grown bushes and drains which were not clean.

“I have been all through Siparia in the last few weeks. And I must tell you I am disappointed. I expected to see at least some of the grass cut in some of the drains. But they leaving it so to be able to tell you the PNM didn’t give them money to cut grass,” he said.

He said the UNC would even cry discrimination, claiming that PNM-run regional corporations were better funded.

“But it is simply lack of pride,” he said.

Rowley also responded to Persad-Bissessar’s announcement at a political meeting that the opposition would not support the Bail (Amendment) Bill. The Bill, he explained, would prevent anyone found in possession of high powered assault weapons from getting bail.

“I say to you tonight this opposition is dangerous to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. And what they are doing is abusing the trust of those who sent them to the Parliament. Is the UNC waiting for something to happen when people drop like flies before they support it?” he said.

And he called on citizens to treat the Cambridge Analytica allegations seriously as their private data was being collected and used for election purposes.

He said a government agencies were bound under law to keep a person’s private information confidential.

“So when a political party like the UNC collect this data and give it to foreigners to make profiles of you to be able to target you for election purposes they have broken the law and acted like criminals that they are,” he said.

Responding to the row between Persad-Bissessar and Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan over the Cunapo Bridge construction, Rowley said, “I ask you to disregard the UNC and their folly.”

Rowley questioned whether the government should not have constructed the bridge to bring ease to citizens, simply because it fell on property belonging to someone else.

He made it clear, however, that he was not defending Sinanan.

The prime minister also reminded citizens that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) was one of this country’s proudest institutions.

He said the UNC was now attempting to discredit the EBC with its claims that the PNM was attempting to steal the elections.

Rowley said, “We have helped out countries as far away as Africa to conduct free and fair elections. It is a national institution that we should keep as a proud institution. And for some reason the UNC intends to destroy it.”

He said the EBC was run by a board of “distinguished” citizens who have done “yeoman work” in conducting elections in Trinidad and Tobago.

“And the UNC just want to destroy it with allegations,” he said.

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