Political Leader of the Progressive Party Nikolai Edwards said that he has taken note of the inflammatory, accusational and divisive statements made by Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for St. Joseph, Terrence Deylasingh.
During a press conference on Monday, Deyalsingh noted that young people are driving the second wave of the virus.
But Edwards said if any one group of individuals should be held largely responsible for the country’s second COVID-19 wave, it must be the former government, led by the country’s current leader, for calling an election in the midst of a pandemic, especially when there was still time to further stabalise the country before the election was constitutionally due.
“Of course, it would have been the irresponsible actions of individual citizens that led to the spreading of the CoronaVirus which was imported, however, the purpose of electing leaders is to ensure that those who we have elected are able to anticipate risks and save those who they lead from self-destruction,” he said.
“An election at that time was not in the best interest of the population. Therefore, the government failed to properly lead this country when we required proper leadership and so too the Prime Minister’s expression over the weekend of sympathy at the spike in the number of COVID-19 related deaths was unmoving.”
Edwards called Deyalsingh’s statements irresponsible, adding that they can only seek to bring about further discord in a society that tends to blame young people for most, if not all of its problems.
He said, “It is even more disappointing that this is coming from a senior cabinet minister of a government that rode into office on a promise to give youth priorities and engagement more attention.”
“The Minister went on to note that it shall be, “young persons who worship on the altar of denial…and who also worship on the altar of stupidity that will crash the system”. On the contrary, poor leadership and the inability to anticipate the varied behaviours and reactions of citizens is what will cause the system to crash.”
He said poor consultation over the past couple of months have led to many hiccups in the implementation of the various health ordinances and confusion among the population.
“While I support the Minister’s public chastising of the woman featured in the recent viral video regarding her ignorance to the risks she was inviting upon herself and her family, the Minister must stay clear from isolating a large grouping of the population because of the actions of a few,” he said.
He added that the Minister, Prime Minister and government at large must understand that like him, there are many citizens who wish to work with the government in the interest of the people of our beloved country.
However, he said, too many mistakes are being made on the part of the government and there appears to be no remorse for same.
“As the citizens look to Whitehall for leadership, official and unofficial statements must be carefully constructed and disseminated if we are to survive this period as one people,” he said.
Nikolai was the lone representative for his party at this year’s general elections.
He contested the San Fernando West seat which was won by the incumbent, Attorney General Fari Al Rawi.
However, his party did secure the second-highest number of votes in the constituency.