WITH less than two weeks before the January 25 local government by-elections, Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee is appealing for the electorate to put a UNC voice in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation (DMRC).
The DMRC is controlled by the PNM which is offering Jinelle Schulere-Smart as the candidate for Morne Coco/Alyce Glen to replace Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, former councillor Symon de Nobriga.
The UNC’s candidate is John Laquis, who Lee is hoping could break into the PNM’s stronghold. The five by-elections were triggered by former councillors who stood for the general election and were elected MP's.
Diego Martin includes the constituencies of Diego Martin West, North/East and Central ,which are represented in the Parliament by the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Colm Imbert and de Nobriga.
Dr Rowley has also promised to elevate Diego Martin and Siparia Regional Corporations to borough status.
Speaking on a UNC virtual election platform on Monday night, Lee called on supporters to reject the government and say enough is enough.
He said the by-election was an opportunity for people to stand united in their quest for a better government.
“I want to put in a plug for Morne Coco/Alyce Glen to come out in your numbers and vote for John Laquis to put a UNC voice in the DMRC.” He said unlike their previous representatives, Laquis will be transparent and accountable to them.
Lee said three months after the passage of the $49.573 billion 2020/2021 budget, it seems the country is broke.
He called on Imbert to come clean and say “if we are broke.”
Lee said media reports that quoted Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan about a cut in funding to his ministry and how it would affect road projects had alerted him that something was wrong.
“In October the Opposition passed the budget with the government for close to $50 billion and three months later the MOWT (Minister of Works and Transport) is saying he does not have money to fund his ministry?”
He rationalised if the MOWT is having money problems it is likely other ministers would have the same issue.
“What about education, health, housing and all the other ministries depending on funding from Imbert? Imbert must come and tell this county if we are broke, if we don’t have revenue, don’t have income.”
The UNC candidates are Daniel John borough of Point Fortin (Hollywood); Princes Town (St Mary’s/Hindustan) Tylon Farrell; borough of Chaguanas (Cunupia) Richard Sukdeo; borough of Arima (Arima Central) Sheldon Garcia; and Diego Martin (Morne Coco/Alyce Glen), John Laquis.
The PNM’s candidates are Leslie Chang Fong (Hollywood); Martina Loubon-Le Gendre (St Mary’s/Hindustan); Rasheed "Patos" Ali (Cunupia); Dr Hilary Bernard (Arima Central); and Jinelle Schulere-Smart (Morne Coco/Alyce Glen).