By JULIEN NEAVES Saturday, October 26 2013
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said she is unfazed by the plethora of negative comments generated over a video of her speech at UNC headquarters in Rienzi Complex, Couva on the night of the Local Government Election when she celebrated with supporters, the party holding on to its core corporations.
“It is not the first video and I suggest it won’t be the last. It has reached a point where everything I do or say is placed under full scrutiny. But I am unfazed and undaunted and I will continue to do my best in my capacity (as Prime Minister) and do my job,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters yesterday at the launch of the re-branded Highway Patrol at the Police Academy in St James.
A video of the speech, circulating on several social media websites including Facebook and which is titled: ‘Drunk Kamla behaves strangely after losing LGE’, generated a storm of negative comments.
Commenting yesterday, the Prime Minister said the video and connotations of its label showed that scrutiny of her life, her every move and her every words, were at an all time low.
“I think it has sunk to an all time low in terms of comments of the citizens, whom I serve as prime minister, which are being posted. But I am not fazed. I have never been fazed. I will continue to do the best that I can,” Persad-Bissessar said.
Asked about comments by Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash Ramadhar that the COP’s wipe out in the local government election was partly due to the UNC, Persad-Bissessar said she disagrees. “If that was the case, why did the UNC win in the seats we contested?” she asked.
She said if one combines the COP and UNC votes, the total will be larger than the popular vote which the Opposition PNM eventually got. She said mid-term for any government is always a difficult time and reiterated that US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were, “almost wiped out in mid-term elections” yet came back to serve second consecutive terms in office.
Asked about Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader Jack Warner’s claim that proportional representation had “backfired” for the People’s Partnership in terms of delegation of aldermen, Persad-Bissessar disagreed.
“It never backfired. Both Mr Warner and (Opposition Leader Dr Keith) Rowley were against it in Parliament. Indeed it has worked exactly as we had envisaged it would work, where it is that you acquire 25 percent of the popular vote you would be entitled to a voice in the institution. I think it is a very democratic way of representation.”
She noted that in areas where the People’s National Movement (PNM) would never have gotten an alderman they would now be getting one and similarly for the UNC.
“It has worked wonderfully well. There may be teething problems in that it’s taking the EBC a little longer to compile and collate but then it is the first time. I have not seen anything in it that is negative or contrary to a true democratic process,” she said.