THE PNM will fight the 2020 general elections on a platform of public morality and not private self-interest, the Prime Minister told the party’s 64th anniversary celebration at NAPA, Port of Spain, on Sunday. Dr Rowley did not announce an election date.
“I put you on notice, the next election will be fought on the principle of morality in public affairs,” he said. “Some people think it is about ‘I’ll give you this, I’ll give you that.’”
Echoing the “we will beat them” mantra of his predecessor the late Patrick Manning, Rowley vowed to topple the Opposition in the north, south, east and west in the next election. “In 2020 we shall vanquish them in Trinidad and Tobago.” He was confident the PNM will always be held to a higher standard than other parties.
Urging voters to reject any government that would empty the treasury, Rowley said, “This PNM is a beacon of hope in TT.”
He said unlike the privilege enjoyed by some under colonialism, PNM founder Dr Eric Williams and the party had created opportunity for all citizens.
“Some take that for granted," he said, "but I warn you, cancer does return.”
Rowley traced the PNM’s projects to develop TT which had ignored the nay-sayers, such as the Claude Noel Highway (to replace Tobago’s coastal steamboat) and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (to supplement the colonial-era Port of Spain General Hospital (POSGH).) “Today’s generation, my children and yours, take it for granted that it was always like this.” Regarding the PNM’s successful projects, he said the party has had to learn to put their fingers in their ears, at the nay-sayers.
Of the POSGH, he said work has begun on a new 500-bed block. “The PNM’s vision is to continue to build for the people of TT.”
He admitted the world natural gas price (US$2) is now lower than that set in the last TT budget (US$3.25), but declared, “We have to keep on course.”
Rowley boasted of his government’s restoration of TT’s historic buildings, namely the Red House, President’s House, Whitehall and Mille Fleurs. While he had belatedly learnt of rot inside the Queens Royal College (QRC) building, he vowed, “If we have to eat green fig and suck salt, we are going to fix it.”
Rowley said at the party’s 64th anniversary, the next goal now is the 100th. “Many of us in this room will not be here when the PNM celebrates its 100th anniversary, but we know there will be a 100th birthday of the PNM and for that, all the people of TT will be better off.”
Earlier, the party honoured stalwarts with the Dr Eric Williams Medal of Honour. These were Morris Marshall (posthumous), Susan Hong, Nal Ramsingh, Yvonne Norvil, Kenny da Silva, Lynette Ward, Terry Rondon, Helen Benn, Rose Janneire (posthumous) and Cynthia Joseph.