UNC PRO Dr Kirk Meighoo on Friday rejected any idea of his party being obstructionist to the Government's efforts against crime and instead asked if the Government secretly desired the ongoing crime spate. In a statement in response to the Prime Minister's recent call for Government-Opposition crime-talks, he accused the PNM of grasping at straws. He scoffed, "Indeed, after eight years of failed governance and a three-day retreat, Rowley says, 'Ask Kamla'.
"His response is ludicrous at best, and at worst an admission of failure. Just go, Rowley!"
Meighoo said the view that the UNC was obstructionist was mischievous, laughable and malicious.
Referring to a recent opinion column, he said the accusation of obstructionism was a sorry excuse by the PNM's alleged failure in social, economic and political life.
"At no time has our country ever been more badly and destructively run, despite the Opposition’s many offers of assistance, from covid to crime.
"Keith Rowley has consistently spurned, rejected and insulted all such offers of national unity."
Meighoo asked if the columnist criticising the UNC did not understand the separation of power between the legislature, executive, and judiciary.
He said the executive runs the Ministry of National Security, amid its duties over policy, implementation, expenditure, government programmes and ministries.
"Parliamentarians, on the other hand, are legislators. They have zero executive responsibilities. Their job is to pass and debate laws, and also provide oversight on the executive, by asking questions and holding them accountable for their actions and expenditure, through Parliament and committees.
"As legislators with no role in the Cabinet, the UNC has no power to obstruct the government from carrying out its duties as the executive."
He said a lot of bluster about “obstructionism” was just the Government's excuse for its alleged failure on crime, the economy, the education system, the health sector, infrastructure, and other areas of governance.
"In fact, upon reflection, it appears that the PNM want Trinidad to be crime-ridden. There is no other explanation." In this, Meighoo referenced the non-reappointment of Gary Griffith as Commissioner of Police and the continuation of Fitzgerald Hinds as Minister of National Security.
Meighoo also chided the removal of government contracts from the Procurement Act, despite the fighting over such contracts being "a major cause "of gang warfare.
"The Opposition has nothing to do with these terrible decisions by the PNM Government.
"The PNM’s and their apologists’ call for unity and cooperation is fake, and a distraction. Unity is the last thing they really want."
Meighoo said when the UNC were in government it was the PNM that had rejected the calls for national unity.
"The PNM’s philosophy is to stand alone, to win alone, and to lose alone. The motto of the PNM is about the party being great and prevailing, not the country.
"This has been the practice of the PNM in government as well, as real GDP levels have regressed back to 2006 levels, back to a time before we refined oil, back to coal pots and bicycles." Meighoo alleged Rowley was a divisive figure, including being called out by the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour in the 2023 local government elections. "Yet, in his usual abrasive and vulgar manner, Rowley dismissed, ignored and insulted the council, which was appointed by the Inter-Religious Organisation and other religious bodies, chambers of commerce, and civil society organisations."
Meighoo alleged this was now the worst government ever in TT.
"The PNM has now officially lost their majorities in both the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and thereby lost their legitimacy. Excuses and blame games will not cut it. "We need fresh elections, to select a new government that has the support of the majority of voters."