Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar remains adamant that she will not participate in tomorrow’s local government election debate among party leaders. On Monday, via media release, it was noted that the Prime Minister, at no time, gave a commitment to participate and added that the Debates Commission is in a position to confirm this.
The People’s Partnership government, the release noted, made the decision to have COP political leader, Prakash Ramadhar represent the coalition government in the second debate as the UNC’s Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan represented the People’s Partnership in the first debate. The release said both the UNC and the COP are taking part in the local elections and as such they feel this is an appropriate decision.
According to the media release, the Prime Minister informed Catherine Kumar of the Debates Commission of this decision on October 8th. The debates commission meanwhile has indicated that it will not allow Mr. Ramadhar to participate on behalf of the People’s Partnership.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission is sticking to its position that an alternative for any of the political leaders invited for Tuesday’s 2013 Local government Elections Debate is not an option and rejects any alternatives being offered.
In a statement the T.T.D.C. explained its agreement with the leaders of the various political organizations invited and with the public, mandates that only leaders participate at the debate.
T.T.D.C. notes that if after continued concerted efforts to secure leaders participation in the Leaders Debate, there is no agreement, the Commission will be forced to cancel the debate.
David Abdullah of the Movement for Social Justice has confirmed his attendance. Dr. Keith Rowley of the People’s National Movement has indicated that he will participate only if Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar’s absence is duly noted and Jack Warner of the Liberal Party is also present.
Mr. Warner has insisted that he will not debate without the Prime Minister.