As her one-time mentor Basdeo Panday rallies Opposition supporters for a possible entry into this year’s elections, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she is not afraid of meeting Panday or anyone else.
Speaking to reporters during Kiddies Carnival celebrations in her constituency on Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar said she had no problem with Panday’s call for opposing forces and small parties to join together to save T&T.
“Its a democracy. Everyone is entitled to freedom of association and freedom of disassociation. I have no problem with that,” she said.
She expressed confidence that the UNC will win the election because people were fed up with the way the PNM was running the country.
“I know the UNC is united and the UNC will win. I have no challenge or fear of anything,” she said. When asked whether she would accept other smaller parties into the UNC, Persad-Bissessar said, “All are welcome in the house of the rising sun. Those who share the same values, everyone,” Persad-Bissessar said. As to whether she would accept a meeting with Panday, Persad-Bissessar said, “I have no fear of meeting anyone.”
She said under the PNM the economy was in shambles and crime was out of control.
“The high numbers of murders is more important than Panday. We have a Private Members Motion which we will be debating as soon as the Parliament resumes,” she said.
She also lamented the shooting of a WPC Nicolette Persad by a male relative.
“I think the domestic violence laws have to be reviewed and revised. We saw that someone had a restraining order recently, very sad and she died in spite of a restraining order. Sometimes more has to be done. We welcome the initiatives of the Police Commissioner. There is now a unit designated for matters like these but the legislation also has to be upgraded,” she added.
She also said that she will give the Commissioner every resource needed for him to perform well.
“I see no reason why not. One of the challenges that the TTPS is facing is a lack of resources. We have seen the National Operations Centre has become dysfunctional. Over 280,000 tappings but only eight or nine warrants obtained. That Inception of Communications Bill is to allow illegal tapping to become legal. That is a macoomeh bill for macoomeh men to macoo the people of T&T,” she added.