No early polls

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks during a meeting at her residence in Phillipine yesterday evening.

PORT-OF SPAIN -Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she will not betray the trust of the people who elected her into office by calling an early election like her predecessor Patrick Manning.

Addressing supporters during a pre-budget meeting at her Phillipine home last night, Persad-Bissessar said the only election that will be called will be the Tobago House of Assembly elections which is constitutionally due.

“You gave us a mandate; we will continue to carry out that mandate. Someone said that they calling for early elections. I agree with Rowley, call the elections now, call the THA elections now,” Persad-Bissessar thundered as supporters cheered. “THA election is the only election that is due and we will not sacrifice the votes, the trust and the mandate of T&T to do the thing that Manning did twice, which was to call early elections,” she added.

She said the Opposition Leader was Tobago-born so as soon as the THA is dissolved, she will name a date for the Tobago election. “We will be rising to the top with the Tobago Organisation of the People because for the first time the people of Tobago are given due respect, side by side with Trinidadians,” she said. The Prime Minister also announced that party loyalists will be heading to Mid-Centre mall in Chaguanas on Saturday for a pre-budget rally.

The event will begin at 2 p.m.

Persad-Bissessar called on her party troops to stand strong and work for the collective good. Saying people should not mistake her smile for weakness, [she] vowed to remove any minister or parliamentarian who brings their office into disrepute. “I will task every minister who sits here and every MP so that they must continue to do their best to serve the people of T&T,” she said.

“I give you the commitment that if anyone of us falters and fails, I will have no compunction but to remove them out of office. “People think because I smile that I am weak but we know better don’t we? I smile because I am a happy person and I live in the house of the Lord.” Persad-Bissessar said even if her Government made a “misstep” they should always be held accountable.

“We are founded on the basis of principles … We came to the electorate in 2010, with new hope, new vision and new mission to improve the quality of life for all the people in T&T. We have demonstrated as a team that even if we have a misstep, the collective good is greater than the individual good because at the end of the day, it is not about one of us, it is about all of us.”

National Security Minister Jack Warner, who also addressed the supporters, said more than 14,000 people must gather at Mid-Centre Mall on Saturday. He said if the numbers were less, the people would have failed the Prime Minister. (Guardian)

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