PM: Opening borders not an election issue

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Source: Office of the Prime Minister -
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Source: Office of the Prime Minister -

The opening of the borders to allow the return of nationals to vote is not a consideration for the Government, the Prime Minister said on Saturday.

At the UNC's south regional office during the UNC virtual public meeting on June 4, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, called on Rowley to open the borders for TT citizens to return to vote. She said it was “shameful and disgraceful act” to deny thousands of citizens returning home and take away their right to vote. She said if the election date called was before the opening of the borders, she would challenge the decision in court.

The Prime Minister responded by saying the Constitution was the supreme law in the country and being a responsible government it would observe the law.

“The Constitution determines how and when an election can be called and it has nothing to do with the foibles of any Opposition Leader. Secondly, our decisions with respect to our health as inscribed in our protection granted by the public health ordinance, is the law of TT," he said during a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's. "And all those who believe they own the courthouse and that is where they will conduct their politics, they are free to do so and I would not be fazed by the threats of the Opposition Leader.”

Dr Rowley said that Persad-Bissessar was “obsessed” with the elections should tell the country something. He said he believed Persad-Bissessar wanted the borders open so members of the UNC could return home but that was not how the Government made health decisions.

He stressed that the borders were closed for a reason and its opening would be a public health issue, and not an election issue. He said the priority of the Government at this time was to minimise exposure to, and the disruption of, covid19.

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"PM: Opening borders not an election issue"

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