Kamla describes PM’s local gov’t reform legislation as a “smoke screen”

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Kamla describes PM’s local gov’t reform legislation as a “smoke screen”

Opposition leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar has criticised the Government for taking a week after the Privy Council ruling was made public to address the matter.

“They did everything to deny what they already knew and he admitted his Government lost at the Privy Council, calling the new election.”

Persad Bissessar, speaking to media after the Prime Minister spoke to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, described the PM statement of Local Government reform legislation as a smoke screen and a way to avoid the polls.

“It seems the Government is deadly afraid of the electorate, of the people of this country and will delay as far as they can for as long as they can holding off valid elections in this country.”

She said, “I want to warn the Government today, you have run for so far, you will continue to run in this 90 days but you cannot hide, the electorate will be there waiting to vote you out.”

She said the UNC had already begun preparations for the election and had all nominations inside for all the seats and had also begun the process of screening potential candidates.

Among the campaign issues the UNC will focus on will be crime, unemployment, job losses and flooding.

She lamented the fact that until then, the councils will not be operating as normal, particularly with the impending rainy season.

“These people are in limbo. In my respectful view, the law is clear, they, as I said, have retired as of December, they cannot function, apart from the mayors and chairmen.”

She said the UNC’s lawyers will study the Prime Minister’s statement to the Parliament to see what aspect of the local government operations the Government intends to validate.

“The Government is operating illegally, they have been operating against the true tenants of democracy and I hope people could see it,” she said.

In the last Local Government Election in 2019, both the UNC and PNM secured seven seats each.

However, Persad-Bissessar is confident the UNC will win the Local Government Election whenever it is called.