ATTORNEY General and PNM San Fernando West candidate Faris Al-Rawi rejected a claim by the COP that a video posted on social media had anything to do with him or the PNM. In a statement, the COP said the video in which Al-Rawi appeared “carries a heavy racist undertone.”
The video begins with clips of former PP health minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis telling PP supporters at a public meeting to shut up and later criticising then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The video continues with a television interview with former PP justice minister Herbert Volney saying he had nothing to do with the Section 34 fiasco. There is footage of Al-Rawi from 2012 as an opposition senator, saying Persad-Bissessar had questions to answer about Section 34. The video ends with an unknown woman making derogatory remarks about a particular ethnic group.
Al-Rawi said it is disappointing and desperate on the part of the COP to try to connect him or the PNM to that video. He questioned why the COP made no mention of the references made to the PP and controversies mentioned in the video which happened under that government. The COP was a member of the PP coalition. “That is not a production of the PNM.”
Al-Rawi said this was someone who appears in a meme, being accused of being responsible for its production.
Al-Rawi said he and the PNM are campaigning on a platform of performance and accountability. He added the party has no need to resort to other tactics to win the August 10 general election. In its statement, the COP said, “We condemn this attempt to once again divide us along racial lines as this leads to no good outcome.”
The COP added, “We have stated that we believe that our diversity is an asset and attempts to gain votes using these racist undertones should be condemned at the highest levels.” The party called on the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and all other political parties to steer us clear of this trend.