Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has accused the United National Congress (UNC) of using racially-insensitive messaging in its televised political advertisements.
During a radio interview on I95.5 FM yesterday, the prime minister claimed he was deeply-offended.
“I really take umbrage as a black man in this country, black person in the country, to see a political party that was in the government in Trinidad and Tobago, that wants to be government again, portraying black people in a way those are portraying us,” he said.
According to Dr Rowley, he has no problem with a political party making ads to promote its policies, programmes, or even to attack the government’s performance, but some of the ads the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led party are using are distasteful.
He singled out one of the television advertisements in particular.
“There’s an ad with a child, a little black child. I don’t know if the UNC campaign management team knows how offensive that ad is, and I will say no more,” the prime minister added.
He claimed that if he made the mistake of making a similar video with a child of East Indian descent, detractors of the PNM would have taken him to task.
Guardian Media attempted to contact UNC Public Relations Officer Anita Haynes for comment via telephone but was unable to do so successfully.
The advertisement shows a young child in tattered clothing and sandals wandering, before coming across a UNC rally.
In the advertisement, several UNC candidates, in constituencies considered marginal seats, are depicted, including the likes of La Horquetta/Talparo candidate Jerlean John and Barataria/San Juan candidate Saddam Hosein.