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Kamla: Parties responding well to united fight against PNM

Several political parties have responded to endorse the UNC and its call for those who wish to work with the party and unite against the People’s National Movement Government, says Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

And St Lucia Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has said he and Persad-Bissessar have also agreed to form a collective of opposition leaders to ensure the voices of the opposition parties in the Caribbean region are heard by entities – including Caricom.

Each confirmed this at last night’s UNC Anti-crime Town Hall consultation in Sangre Grande. Chastanet was among speakers at the event.

Persad-Bissessar noted that last Monday she’d called for all parties who wish to work with the UNC to unite against the present Government to bring back good governance to T&T.

”And since then, several have reached out to say ‘yes we endorse the UNC and we’ll work’,” she said.

“So let’s thank them for all who are reaching out, as it’s together united we’ll win this thing.”

St Lucian Opposition leader Chastanet said he stood in solidarity with Persad-Bissessar, as she was in the right direction and was setting an example for other opposition leaders that their job was not simply to protest and oppose but to create platforms like the UNC’s consultation to give people a chance to speak. He said governments in the region must respond to the People’s Parliament.

Persad-Bissessar thanked Chastanet for his suggestion. She said she and Chastanet had talks before the meeting and they would work closer together as opposition leaders in the region to bring better security and safety to the whole Caricom region and each other’s nations.

“We have a long road to walk together as we work together to improve the lot in each of our countries,” she added.

Responding to a call from one David John from the audience to put the death penalty on the table, Persad- Bissessar said, “When we were in government 2010-15 we had put out a piece of legislation on that and we’d said et’s categorise murders so you’ll be able to inflict the death penalty – capital punishment – for the most heinous crimes.

“So we did have that on the books, and it’s something we can look at again should you put us back into office – we have a plan to deal with that issue.”

Noting T&T is Caricom’s lead in security and calling for Caricom to form a “net” around countries to keep the crime out, Chastanet said, “Let’s fund a regional security system to protect all of us.”

He said crime had reached a level where governments ought to have command centres to deal with crime, police should be polygraphed to ensure they tell the truth, fishing boats should have GPS to know where they’re going, culprits with guns shouldn’t be given bonds, there should be cameras with facial recognition systems and ways should be found to assist people to give police information.

He said the gangs are offering youths a better future than governments offer.

”Youths want more today and they want it now, we cannot tell them no, we must offer them opportunities they want,” he added.

Persad-Bissessar said they have to look at the fight against crime as a holistic fight – not only about guns or more police – but a situation that includes education and the economy.

After a Sangre Grande woman related alleged mistreatment of her son by an officer, Persad-Bissessar promised an attorney would investigate it.

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