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EBC report on Tobago passes in Parliament

He said this was not a sin­gu­lar ac­tion but a habit with Op­po­si­tion

The mo­tion to con­sid­er the Draft Re­port of the Elec­tions and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion (EBC) (Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly) or­der was passed in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day with a vote of 21 for and 18 against.

The re­port rec­om­mends the cre­ation of three new elec­toral dis­tricts in To­ba­go- a mea­sure Gov­ern­ment says will break the cur­rent six-six dead­lock in the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly.

Speak­ing as he rose to con­clude the de­bate yes­ter­day, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ac­cused the Op­po­si­tion Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) of us­ing their time dur­ing the de­bate to cre­ate doubt in the EBC.

«Your modus operan­di is to cre­ate doubt, to do that they had to at­tack the EBC so as to at­tack the process so as to at­tack the out­come,» Row­ley said.

He said this was not a sin­gu­lar ac­tion but a habit with Op­po­si­tion.

«Are you say­ing that the bound­aries that are be­fore us in this mo­tion here to­day are bound­aries that were drawn by mem­bers of the Gov­ern­ment, the Cab­i­net or the Prime Min­is­ter?» he asked.

The Prime Min­is­ter asked whether, as an al­ter­na­tive the Op­po­si­tion would ac­cept that the EBC act­ed in­de­pen­dent­ly and with­out bias.

«The on­ly an­swer can be that no­body in this Gov­ern­ment had any­thing what­so­ev­er to do with any one of those bound­aries.»

He said this meant that al­though the Op­po­si­tion had tried to cre­ate doubt it did not change any of the facts.

He told the Op­po­si­tion leader, Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar that her par­ty could con­tin­ue on its mis­sion to «mis­rep­re­sent and mis­in­form» the pop­u­la­tion.

Row­ley al­so in­vit­ed the par­ty to keep up their in­ter­est in To­ba­go by con­test­ing the up­com­ing elec­tion in To­ba­go.

«I trust the en­thu­si­asm would re­flect in some in­ter­est in To­ba­go when an elec­tion is called,» he said.

He said the par­ty would not take up that of­fer as it pre­ferred to stay in Trinidad while «pulling strings» in To­ba­go.

«You rather be the pup­pet mas­ter than the can­di­date,» Row­ley said.

He said the Op­po­si­tion had their say in Par­lia­ment and the peo­ple of To­ba­go will have their say in the up­com­ing elec­tion.

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