|Kamla Persad-Bissessar: I will never abandon the dream of 2010 and will never abandon you my political family. I belong to you and to this nation while I hold this position of your Political Leader and your Prime Minister. I am in command as your PM.|
"We came into Office as a Partnership.
"The people of our country know through our experiences of the past, that whenever there is a united movement against the PNM, the PNM can never win an election.
"This was proven in 1983 and 2010 at the local government elections, and was proven in 1986 and again in 1995 and overwhelmingly in 2010 at general elections. Let us not forget our political history.
"Let me say what you have been the first to say that: 'We are one – We sink or float together. Let us not be deluded. This is verily the truth.'
"For those within the Partnership who think otherwise and would wish to go it on their own, let me also confirm that the electorate will chew and spit out such individuals or political groups who are seen to be betraying the trust that has been placed in the Partnership.
"This is why sometimes contrary to your own desires as members of the UNC, I have borne the pains of insults, the stress of threats and sometimes what amounts to blackmail of my leadership.
"It has not been easy to be Leader of the Partnership but with the strength I derive from you, with the promise I have made to make life better for you and your children, with the knowledge of how much faith and trust you have in me, with the vision for a secure and prosperous future for all, I persevere for you and for my country, our country.
"I will never abandon the dream of 2010 and will never abandon you my political family.
"I belong to you and to this nation while I hold this position of your Political Leader and your Prime Minister.
"I am in command as your PM...'We are One. We float together or we shall sink together!' This is my covenant.
"This is why the Partnership has survived against the wishes of others to see it fall...It is action in the people’s interest which will define the next thirty months of our governance.
"At this mid-term juncture, we must recall the elements of the platform which brought us to power and which remain the basis of the contract between the citizens and us, whether they voted for us or not, for such is the democracy within which we function.
"We were voted into office on the promise of ensuring wider participation in political decision making. You wanted a Citizen’s Democracy and I am of the firm view that we are progressing in this regard.
"My government has virtually encouraged citizens to express their views on all matters and to do so without fear. Show me one person who has been sacked from his /her position for criticizing the government.
"This attitude of protecting the right to freedom of speech and association on our part is what has placed the government under the microscope. We do not believe that criticism of the government is a vote against the government. We do not believe that it represents a dislike of the government.
"Dislike and disagreement are two different things.
"We believe that when our citizens and even our supporters criticize us, it is because they are expressing a desire for us to be a better government and a desire for them to be a part of the governance of the country.
"We have encouraged this, perhaps, sometimes, to our own detriment, but this is part of the change you voted for. This is why I emphasize the need to listen and then to lead.
"We understand that government today and governments in the future will come under great scrutiny. We understand the new environment in which we are called upon to govern. We accept it and, this is when we open communications and conversations with the citizenry. This is also the change you voted for!
"As always, I ask only for truth and for fairness in reporting. Criticisms of this government when you examine it closely have been largely supportive. This is why after thirty months the government and your PM continues to have a favourable rating from the citizenry...
"Your PM and the government is acutely aware of your voices crying out for change. We recognize that you want speed and responsiveness from the public service.
"We recognize that you want the courts and the justice system to function so as to deliver speedier justice. We recognize that you want a more responsive health service. We recognize that you want to feel safer as a citizen.
"We recognize that you want to see value for money spent in the development of the nation. Do not for a moment think that I am oblivious to these essential areas of change.
"So many of these matters depend on the transformation of the public service which is a function of the Ministry of Public Administration headed By Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, as well as on the Ministry of Legal Affairs which is headed by Minister Prakash Ramadhar and the Ministry of Justice headed by Minister Chrystlyn Moore and the office of the AG headed by Minister Anand Ramlogan.
"Archaic public service systems, unresponsive and slow decision making at the level of Service commissions, unsympathetic attitudes to the public, must undergo a revolution in the shortest possible time.
"Now you understand what I meant in Debe when I said the government is challenged from within and without."