UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday dismissed calls from the Prime Minister to remove UNC election advertisements which, he said, portray people of African descent in a negative light. Persad-Bissessar said she had no idea what were the ads being referred to by Dr Rowley.
In a radio interview on Thursday, Rowley objected to the ads. At a PNM virtual meeting in Sangre Grande later in the evening, he demanded that the UNC remove them.
Asked to respond to Rowley's statements before a UNC motorcade in Tarouba, Persad-Bissessar told reporters, "I don't know which ads you're speaking about."
A reporter then told her about a video called Trinity's Triangle. Persad-Bissessar said, "To my knowledge, that is not a UNC ad, so I don't know which ad you are speaking about." She admitted that she has not seen many of the party's ads because she has been "on the campaign trail."
Persad-Bissessar said that was up to the team handling the party's communications to review the ads. She did not believe public criticism of the ads could affect the UNC's chances of wining Monday’s general election.
"I think people have made up their minds. If there is a negative that is there, I think the overwhelming negative in this country is the poor performance of the Rowley party, their incompetence in government."
She dismissed the PNM's statements that the UNC was distributing televisions, fridges, stoves and furniture to people in marginal constituencies to get their votes as "total nonsense."
Persad-Bissessar said the PNM was claiming the UNC was giving people old $100 bills. "Totally false. The law is that those are illegal tender and therefore, basically, you cannot tender that to anyone in hope that they will be able to cash it."
She said UNC La Horquetta/Talparo candidate Jearlean John gave appliances to people in the constituency who were affected by flooding. "It was not a bribe to buy votes." She then claimed that in Moruga/Tableland, the PNM was using operatives to give out appliances there.
"These are illegal activities if they are trying to secure votes by any material something, whether it be money or in kind, whether it be a stove or a fridge." She said such offences should be reported to the police.
Persad-Bissessar reiterated concerns about fear mongering and efforts to prevent people from voting. She claimed health officials were telling people to self quarantine at home, there were concerns about the length of time people take to vote, problems with special voting (which started on Monday and ends on Sunday), and concerns about people contracting covid19 when they dip their fingers in the electoral ink.
But, she added, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has covid19 protocols which involve people sanitising before and after they vote. Persad-Bissessar said the UNC was confident of victory and urged people to go out early and vote on August 10.