Naparima MP Rodney Charles has criticised the PNM Government for failing to pass campaign finance legislation. He also said PNM candidates are shelling out money “like a drunken sailor” - a claim PNM PRO Faris Al Rawi labelled “delusional”.
At yesterday’s UNC media briefing, Charles said: “Today crime is at an all-time high. Our murder rate seems headed for a record-breaking 700 by the end of 2023. Car thefts, home invasions, missing persons, truancy in schools, praedial larceny . . . Police Commissioner Erla Harewood Christopher gave the country until June to witness a reduction in the murder rate. June is upon us and we’re yet to see this aspirational reduction. She’s fallen short and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago continue to pay for it,” he said
“And neither the Prime Minister, the National Security Minister nor any of the heads of our protective services have a plan to assure that things will be better.”’
Charles listed areas where he said the PNM had failed that need immediate attention: “Failure to pass campaign finance reform law. Local government election is on our doorstep and political investors are licking their chops. I’m reliably informed that PNM candidates are shelling out money like a drunken sailor,”
PNM PRO Faris Al Rawi was asked whether there have been reports. He claimed Charles was “delusional” and the Campaign Finance Reform Bill was sent to a Joint Select Committee
“I urge him to focus on his own campaign. PNM will conduct this election within the confines of the law,” Al Raw said.
Charles was also critical of the failure to integrate Spanish-speaking persons.
“Depending on whom one relies on there may be between 30 to 70,000 Venezuelan residents here. My information is that one in four babies born in Trinidad and Tobago has a Latin heritage. Is our education system being retooled to deliver a bilingual education?” he asked.
“If left to their own devices they’ll operate on the fringes of society. In 10 to 15 years a future prime minister will ask why young men of Latin origin are involved in crime. Just as the shift system destroyed us decades ago, so will we reap the whirlwind of ignoring the educational needs of our Venezuelan guests.”