Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal

Pure election gimmickry!

That was how UNC MP Roodal Moonilal labelled the PNM Government’s launch of the new Tobago ferry “APT James” which made its first trip to the sister island yesterday.

The vessel sailed to Tobago yesterday – with government officials aboard – after it arrived in T&T recently from Vietnam by the Austal company. The 94 metre vessel costs (US)$71 million .

After leaving Port- of- Spain yesterday morning, on arrival in Tobago around noon, the vessel and crew were greeted by Prime Minister Keith Rowley and other Government and THA officials.

Rowley has been in Tobago since Wednesday attending PNM campaign meetings.

But Moonilal said while the PNM has been accusing the UNC of aiding PDP’s Watson Duke in the THA campaign, the PNM is blatantly electioneering and using the ferry as election gimmickry mere days before the January THA poll to try to fool the people of Tobago who suffered so much for sea and air transport under the PNM.”

He added, “And in that electioneering they’re doing using this vessel, so the PNM must be prepared to answer the public’s questions on this ferry and others they’ve committed to buy. This is a suspicious transaction. The PNM is well known over history as a boat-buying Government but some vessels are parked up after a while and don’t work well and we are keeping our fingers crossed it will sail longer than a month. We’ve also noted the Works Minister has said because it costs a lot to run it will be used on a seat demand basis. They can’t even manage the Coast Guard vessels they have now, but they’re buying two more and relegating it to ‘seat demand’ use,”

“ The PNM clearly feels it cannot win the THA election without calling the UNC’s name in that poll even if we’re not involved there. We’re also seeing all kinds of caricatures and cartoons and posts trying to link UNC with PDP. So if our name is being called now, we’ll have to keep close watch on these vessels they’re acquiring.”

“ We’re also wondering if the busy National Security Minister has obtained the services of the Damen repair personnel which he said he was going to get from Holland after two others had been here and he still wanted others,” he added.

Moonilal said he noticed Rowley, “appears to be fully recovered…he’s back to his disgusting best in his comments”

This pertained to the Opposition Leader’s who had been commenting on the Petrotrin refinery sale issue.

UNC welcomes Biden

Meanwhile the Opposition also extended congratulations to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on becoming the 46th President of the United States and Vice President Kamala Harris .on becoming the first woman of colour to hold the office of VP.

The UNC via statement said,”Trinidad and Tobago has always had a special relationship with the United States. We both share the same principles of democracy and liberty. This is a victory for democracy and indeed, it marks the dawn of a new era for the American people.”

The UNC said it was looking forward to this continuing relationship and friendship under President Biden and hoped that his administration will work with the Caribbean to address issues such as regional security, climate change, and economic development.