UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar addresses a virtual public meeting yesterday.

Chester Sambrano

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described as hypocrisy the government’s plan to host the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket competition, while she says it is not allowing many citizens to return home due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Yesterday Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe announced the deal which will be carried out under strict adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines.

However, speaking at a UNC (United National Congress) virtual meeting last night, Persad-Bissessar said others are being given precedent over nationals.

“I talk about the hypocrisy, you open the borders for Delcy (Rodriguez) and company to come here to make some kind of deal but you will not open the borders for our nationals to come home and then what are you going to do now? You sign up for CPL cricket, so foreigners are going to come in but Trinidad and Tobago national who have the right…”

She said the government is choosing to put systems in place for CPL instead of allowing nationals to come home during this time of elections.

The tournament will be played from August 18 to September 12, 2020, but Persad-Bissessar said, “I am told by people in sports like Anil and so on that, they will have to come in long before that, at least one month before.”

She explained that this has to be done to bring in the relevant equipment as well as to set up for the proper running of the competition.

The Opposition Leader lamented that while this will be taking place the government is “depriving citizens of the right to vote,” in the August 10 polls.

She said it is with that in mind the National Security Minister Stuart Young must answer what she called “serious questions.”

“I call on the government to tell me how many nationals are out of Trinidad and Tobago, how many? How many will not be allowed to come home to vote? How many are you allowing to come in quietly and secretly giving exemptions to, how many?”

The Elections and Boundaries Commission has said that there are no systems in place for people who are out of the country to vote.

She also said if international observers are to come in for this country’s election they have to come now in order to undergo the quarantine process.