Outgoing Moruga/Tableland MP Dr Lovell Francis says he is working with his
successor Winston "Gypsy" Peters to ensure that the seat is retained by the People's
Last month, Francis's rejection by the screening committee in favour of Peters was met with protest action by some constituents who blocked the road and threatened to withhold their vote.
Saturday's opening of the La Lune Community Centre was attended by both Francis and Peters. Asked how he was feeling as his service comes to end, Francis said, "I feel good. I was elected to serve for five years. The five years coming to an end. That comes with no guarantee of anything else.
"What you have is what was done in your time and you do whatever is required so your legacy stands the test of time."
Asked how he has been assisting Peters with his campaign, he said, "The party will give me instructions, and I will follow them. The PNM is an organised institution where you don’t just go and do whatever you feel, you are given certain instructions and follow them."
Asked to comment on his supporters' discontentment, he said, "It is always the case that when someone is not selected there is some disaffection, that is normal."
Francis said he was committed to the party. "I am like a bad rash, really hard to get rid of, so I will be around. Of course, I am staying with the party. There is no other alternative."
Peters, a former minister under the People's Partnership government, does not believe that the discontentment over his selection by some constituents will hurt his campaign. "Those are emotional followers. I was expecting it. Those are emotional fallout, not really anything. All the people who were there we all together now and they with me everywhere. I am 100 per cent confident
"My campaign is going fantastic, very well. The response has been positive."
Noting that he grew up in the La Lune village, Peters was happy the community centre was refurbished and reopened. "My vision is any vision the people have for themselves. My job is to ensure that what I do is to represent the people's interest."
In his address, Francis said this project was long overdue. He recalled that money for this project was allocated under the previous administration, but it was never done. "We know what a community centre like this would mean for a community like this. It means classes, a place young people can occupy themselves, we might do table tennis, we might lift weights. It means a nexus, a point to get together and improve our lives." In her feature address, Community Development Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said they have opened 37 centres since November 2015. But, she added, "This is the first community centre opening during the COVID period." She encouraged residents to not only take care of the facility but ensure that it is fully utilised.