Kamla’s promise: Gun, FUL for all police, prison officers

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, fourth right, and the Star Team in Couva on May 27. - Photo courtesy Kamla Persad-Bissessar's Facebook page
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, fourth right, and the Star Team in Couva on May 27. - Photo courtesy Kamla Persad-Bissessar's Facebook page

EVERY police and prison officer will receive a licensed gun to carry off-duty if the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-endorsed Star Team wins next month’s internal party elections and subsequent general election.

Persad-Bissessar, Opposition and United National Congress leader, made the vow during the launch of the Star Team in Couva on Monday night.

The Star Team is being challenged by Mayaro MP Rushton Paray’s United Patriots slate at the June 15 internal elections.

The Star Team comprises mostly an incumbent slate, with current deputy party leaders Jearlean John, David Lee and Dr Roodal Moonilal all seeking re-election.

At the slate’s launch, which replaced the party's regular weekly cottage meeting, Persad-Bissessar said, “Tonight I tell all police and prison officers, under my next government, I will ensure personal FULs (firearms user's licences) and personal legal firearms for each of you.
“We cannot tie our police officers’ hands when they respond in pursuit of violent criminals, and we cannot have police officers doubting our support, because this can cost them their lives.”

She said these and other sweeping changes could only be done by a party united under her leadership, unlike Paray, whom she accused of attempting to destabilise the party.

“We can only win the general election if we have a national executive team that works with the duly elected leader of the party – yours truly,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“If you can’t work with me, then go. We have to work together.
“We can only win the general election if we have an executive that supports the same plans, the same policies, and the same philosophies as the leader and the rest of the party. We must have a united vision to take our nation forward.”

The Star Team, she said, supports lowering foreign used car prices by permitting the import of vehicles up to six years old, up from the current three-year limit.

“The Star Team supports a comprehensive review of the demerit (points) system and a halt to the oppressive and abusive ticketing of motorists."

She said it plans to set up a manufacturing hub in the East-West Corridor.
and supports the expansion of the Children’s Life Fund to cover more types of illnesses; land for the landless; the construction of the San Fernando-Mayaro highway; road-paving; more jobs; universal kindergarten education; and water for all.

“Between 2010 and 2015 we had the largest road construction and repair programme in the history of our nation. When you put us back, we will do it again.

“The Star Team supports the implementation of a comprehensive traffic alleviation plan. You spend too many hours suffering in traffic.

“The Star Team supports strengthening the public procurement laws that were gutted by the PNM."

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar addresses the audience at the May 27 launch of the Star Team that will contest next month’s UNC internal elections. - Photo courtesy Kamla Persad-Bissessar's Facebook page

She said the team also supports lowering taxes and is against introducing new taxes, including property tax.

“The Star Team is against property tax. The Star Team supports the payment of liveable wages for workers. We do not support the PNM’s four per cent (wage increase) offer to (public servants)."

She said the slate supports affordable housing and the “deregulation of the financial system to make it easier for you all to access financial services and loans.”

Persad-Bissessar said the Star Team is far more experienced than its internal election opponents.

“Each member of the Star Team has years of loyal, dedicated service to the UNC. They have never betrayed our great party.

“They have worked in the trenches to stabilise, grow, protect, and enhance our great party, while others who now wish to lead were members in the bosom of the PNM.”

Persad-Bissessar accused Paray of “dishonesty” and engaging in "malicious propaganda" meant to assist the PNM.

She said he tried to mislead and disenfranchise the UNC's membership by claiming she did not intend to adhere to the party's constitution and call the internal elections when they are due.

“Up to today, no one can provide any evidence of me saying that the internal elections would not be held,” she said, noting this will be the sixth internal election since she became the political leader.

“It is clear that that blatant lie was created in a calculated, sinister attempt to destabilise the UNC, create mischief, and assist the destructive PNM in the upcoming 2025 general elections.

“I don't like what the other slate is doing out in public, dirtying the UNC's name.”

Other Star Team candidates:
Davendranath Tancoo – chairman
Hamlyn Jailal – deputy chairman
Barry Padarath – party organiser
Saddam Hosein – policy and strategy officer
Sean Sobers – research officer
Arnold Ram – election officer
Ravi Ratiram – education officer
Villiana Ramoutarsingh – treasurer
Nicholas Morris – international relations officer
Kenwyn Phillip – Tobago regional representative
Khadijah Ameen – northeast regional representative
Eli Zakour – northwest regional representative
Vandana Mohit – central regional representative
Shanty Boodram – south regional representative


"Kamla’s promise: Gun, FUL for all police, prison officers"

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