He said he did not usually comment on the internal workings of opposition party, the United National Congress (UNC).
But on Friday night, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley felt he had been given leeway to do so by Kamla Persad-Bissessar who gave the “imminent collapse” of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) as the reason for a snap election on her post as political leader.
Rowley, addressing a public meeting at San Fernando City Auditorium, Harris Promenade, San Fernando, countered the reason behind Persad-Bissessar’s early re-election bid had nothing to do with the PNM but revolved around imminent court action against high ranking members of the previous People’s Partnership (PP) administration. “The Leader of the Opposition call a snap election on herself, but she had not resigned, she hasn’t resigned her post, she just call a snap election on herself and that immediately has two voices in the party, one is ‘Why are you doing that? It’s not legal, it’s not in keeping with our constitution’,” he said.
“The other one, the majority of voices, is that we support the leader and when you ask the leader why are you doing this very unusual thing, hear the answer, ‘the PNM government is about to collapse’, and in preparation for the imminent collapse of the PNM, the Opposition Leader in the UNC call a snap election to make herself ready for the (general) election that is due,” he said.
“Now you know I don’t interfere in UNC business but since the reason for this unusual development is because of something PNM, I am invited into their house, so let me give you the real reason for that unusual development and that is the Leader of the Opposition, if she remains in that office for an election in 2018, between now and 2018, she sees the procession to the courthouse of all of her minions, she sees the damaging things that are going to happen and she knows that the best chance she has of holding onto office is to get elected now for three years and it doesn’t matter what happen after, she is there in 2020,” Rowley said.
The general election is due in 2020. He said former PP ministers including former attorney general Anand Ramlogan and housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal had “serious questions” to answer in the courts. “She sees that coming, she also knows what the government is doing with respect to other matters of a similar nature and she knows that 2018 is hell on powder house, as far as the UNC is concerned, so she is trying to get herself elected in peacetime so that the war against crime will not prevent her from being the leader,” he said.
“And what they desperately want to do and what they desperately hoping is that we will come out of office before these matters come to a head and that is where the stupid talk come from that the government about to collapse,” he said, before adding, “dream on Kamla dream on.” “That is the singular reason where there is going to be an election for the leader who has a mandate until December 2018.”