Kamla: Fear led to win

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the victory by the People's National Movement-led Tobago House of Assembly had nothing to do with race but fear.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the victory by the People’s National Movement-led Tobago House of Assembly had nothing to do with race but fear.

PORT OF SPAIN — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the victory by the People’s National Movement-led Tobago House of Assembly had nothing to do with race but fear.

Speaking with reporters following the Ninth inauguration ceremony of the new THA in Scarborough yesterday, she stressed that the people of Tobago must be respected in light of the outcome of the election.

She also noted while the Tobago Organisation of the People led by Ashworth Jack ran its campaign on the issue of constitutional reform, the PNM ran its campaign on fear and standing in defence of Tobago.

Persad-Bissessar said however there must be no attempt to belittle the democratic decision and right of the people of Tobago following the outcome of Monday’s THA election in which the PNM won all 12 seats and the TOP none.

The PNM had previously held eight seats and the TOP four.

“I believe that they chose that team [PNM] because they felt that team was best able to run the THA and to develop Tobago,” Persad- Bissessar said.

The prime minister’s comments come in sharp contrast to that of UNC chairman Jack Warner, who on Wednesday said the people of Tobago voted on the basis of “tribal instincts” and the fear that a “Calcutta” ship was coming.

Warner plays race card

Warner, Minister of National Security, said: “The results of the THA election reflect how palpable the notion of fear among the African population can be.

“With very little to show from a party they have supported; a party that has neglected and overlooked them, Tobagonians still chose to remain with their political abusers.”

Newly sworn-in THA Chief Secretary Orville London has described Warner’s statement as irresponsible, reckless, insulting and degrading to Tobagonians.

The prime minister said it is not her view that she took over the TOP’s campaign, propelling the party to lose the election.

Political analysts and other commentators have expressed the view that the presence of the prime minister at various TOP political meetings on the island did not allow the TOP to conduct its political campaign in its own style and this may have contributed to its loss. (Express)

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