|File: Keith Rowley|
In an Express story Tuesday he is quoted as saying that the PM's statement is "foolish", noting that he has no jurisdiction to call the THA election.
"The Tobago House of Assembly is governed by a law that does not give the Prime Minister the role that she has given herself," Rowley told the paper.
"Secondly, I was not talking to her as any member of the Assembly or as a Tobagonian; I spoke to her as the Opposition leader of the country speaking to the Prime Minister of the Government of the country, so I find her response quite troubling," Rowley said.
And the Express went on to quote the rules governing the THA.
"The Assembly shall continue for four years from the date of its first sitting after any primary election, and shall then stand dissolved unless the Assembly, by resolution, dissolves itself at an earlier date...
The President, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary, shall fix the date of a primary election, which date shall not be earlier than the expiration of two months after the dissolution of the Assembly, nor later than three months after that dissolution."
Kamla knows that and Rowley knows that. And Rowley damn well knows that the PM was responding to him as leader of the PNM who advises (or should be able to advise) the Chief Secretary, who is a member of Rowley's PNM. This is what she said: "Mr. Rowley, tell Mr London dissolve the THA and I will name the date for the election."
Rowley is pretending to be naive on this matter because it is the PNM that would advise Orville London on the Tobago election and it is the PNM that would be fighting the election to retain control of the assembly. And that means Rowley would call the shots, unless of course he is not in control of his own party.
The THA election is due soon. What Kamla was telling him is if you are so eager to have a vote, let's start with Tobago ... tell your THA chief call it now. In fact London can call an election now if he is brave enough to do it.
But he won't because he knows, as Rowley knows, that an election in Tobago or anywhere else would mean a sound cutarse for the PNM.
In terms of the general election that Rowley is pretending to want, the rules are similar but I haven't seen the Express make that point.
If by Rowley's logic "the Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago is not all together there" by calling for an early THA election, the same applies to him in calling for a general election. This kind of double-speak from Rowley and the PNM is getting to be an epidemic.
That matter aside, now Rowley is refusing to move on to deal with the other business of the state as he should be doing as a responsible leader of the opposition and a potential Prime Minister in waiting.
He is insisting on staying on the Section 34 agenda.
"We will not just move on," the told the Express. The Opposition Leader wants the PM to fire her Attorney General and has given her until Wednesday to do it.
He is telling his supporters to resist what he calls the Government's "do as we please" attitude.
"We know what we can do. The power...in this country lies with the people," he said.
Indeed it does. And that is why the PNM lost the government. 432,026 people rejected the PNM and voted for the People's Partnership led by Kamla and her team. And many of those who voted for them were members of the PNM.
Yes. Power lies with the people and no amount of bullying and blackmail from the PNM will change that. And Rowley and his PNM would remain in opposition when the time comes for another vote unless they decide to get out of the political quicksand in which they are currently standing and move on with the People's business.
Jai Parasram - 25 September, 2012