The motion to consider the Draft Report of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) (Local Government and Tobago House of Assembly) order was passed in Parliament yesterday with a vote of 21 for and 18 against.
The report recommends the creation of three new electoral districts in Tobago- a measure Government says will break the current six-six deadlock in the Tobago House of Assembly.
Speaking as he rose to conclude the debate yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley accused the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) of using their time during the debate to create doubt in the EBC.
“Your modus operandi is to create doubt, to do that they had to attack the EBC so as to attack the process so as to attack the outcome,” Rowley said.
He said this was not a singular action but a habit with Opposition.
“Are you saying that the boundaries that are before us in this motion here today are boundaries that were drawn by members of the Government, the Cabinet or the Prime Minister?” he asked.
The Prime Minister asked whether, as an alternative the Opposition would accept that the EBC acted independently and without bias.
“The only answer can be that nobody in this Government had anything whatsoever to do with any one of those boundaries.”
He said this meant that although the Opposition had tried to create doubt it did not change any of the facts.
He told the Opposition leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar that her party could continue on its mission to “misrepresent and misinform” the population.
Rowley also invited the party to keep up their interest in Tobago by contesting the upcoming election in Tobago.
“I trust the enthusiasm would reflect in some interest in Tobago when an election is called,” he said.
He said the party would not take up that offer as it preferred to stay in Trinidad while “pulling strings” in Tobago.
“You rather be the puppet master than the candidate,” Rowley said.
He said the Opposition had their say in Parliament and the people of Tobago will have their say in the upcoming election.