POLITICAL leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah says he applauds the recent social justice movements, walks, vigils held by citizens pleading for better laws and policies to reduce gender-based violence.
But he is urging the two major political parties and their supporters not to politicise the issue and turn it into a pappyshow.
He was speaking at a press conference at the MSJ's head office at Lord Street, San Fernando on Sunday.
Following the kidnapping and murder of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt, there has been public outcry for justice not only for her, but for all other women who have been victims of gender-based violence in TT.
He said while people are free to support who they wish, bringing politics into these demonstrations will diminish value and remove attention from the issue at hand.
He said the government and the opposition seem to be focusing on blaming each other rather than working together.
"Personal attacks, blaming who was in government before or who is there now for the problems that exist, and the utter failure to take any responsibility whatsoever for the state of the nation..."
He said this is a failure of leadership, adding, "Just look at what they have been doing and saying during the past two weeks when the country has been in a critical moment after the brutal and tragic murder of Andrea Bharatt.
"Instead of a Prime Minister's address to the nation or, at the minimum, a major statement from the Prime Minister in Parliament on the issue of violence and in particular, gender-based violence and what the government is going to do on it, Dr Rowley falls back on the old approach to politics...He holds a PNM public meeting (on Thursday). So instead of speaking to the country as the Prime Minister of all of TT, he speaks as the political leader of the PNM and what he offers is simply a recourse on what the government has done, which is not what the citizens want to hear."
He continued, "On the other hand, the leader of the Opposition uses her political platform to attack and demonise the government. There is no accepting of the responsibility for how the opposition has operated in the parliament."
He said the Parliament has "failed spectacularly," and that the Opposition and the government should meet soon to discuss the way forward and "a clear plan of action."
"The country wants the PNM and Opposition to stop the cheap politicking at the expense of safety and security of citizens."
He added that the criminal justice system is broken and has been for a very long time.
He also called on businesses to not just talk the talk but to walk the walk. For instance, organising transport for its employees who work late and allowing single mothers to work from home when no one is available to babysit.