Prime Minister Patrick Manning has evaded any questions posed to him about the election, saying "no comment at this time. I spoke to you every day of the week so far." Journalists attempted to speak with Manning about developments in the upcoming general election, shortly after he delivered the feature address at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce's annual meeting and luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
"No comment at this time....I spoke to you every day of the week so far," said Manning to a group of reporters, as he hurriedly walked out of the Port-of-Spain room at the Hyatt. Before Manning delivered his address, Angella Persad, president of the chamber, in her remarks, made a call for the general election to be held immediately. "Prime Minister, we ask that you reveal the election date as early as possible so we can settle back to work," Persad said. Persad said she hoped the election period would be used as an opportunity for introspection.
"We hope, too, that this election campaign would be used as an opportunity to re-evaluate our position and re-establish our path to 2020," she said. Persad said T&T was being redefined politically, as "we have just witnessed the changing of the guards at the Opposition party and their very own loyalists who sought change. "The voice of the people has never been so strong and so outspoken and the Honourable Prime Minister has responded by dissolving Parliament in preparation for a general election...Certainly, our democracy is well at work," she said.
Persad said the corporate ethics of our country had been tested "in a way never experienced before and the public voice is now almost relentless in its pursuit of answers and calls to account. "When our role models and public governance systems fail us, they leave a deeper wound than any financial crisis," she said. "We need to return to the basic principles of right and wrong, where wrongdoing carries swift determination and penalties, so there is no question about our values."