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“PNM has always embraced democratic process.” —Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing

The People’s National Movement (PNM) has promised to advise the population about the status of the observers invited to oversee the August 10 General Election process soon.

This was the word from PNM Public Relations Officer Laurel Lezama Lee-Sing on Friday in response to the latest call for independent observers made by Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

In a media release Friday, Persad-Bissessar reminded Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that the clock was ticking and that any observer would need to be quarantined for 14 days before the election. There are only 16 days left before the August 10 general election.

Persad-Bissessar said she was concerned that weeks after making the call about impartial observers, “none has arrived in Trinidad and Tobago.”

She said after she made the initial call, Rowley posted to social media that he had contacted Caricom Secretary-General Irwin La Rocque and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, QC and formally invited them to send election observers.

“However, almost two weeks later, and with just 17 days to go to the August 10 General Election, we have heard nothing more of it,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said that with the “heightened level of alertness after the new local cases of COVID-19, the window for the required 14-day quarantine period for observers before the election date is closing.”

“The prime minister must act immediately to have these observers here by this weekend so they can be cleared in time for the election,” she said.

“With the time quickly running out, I am calling on the prime minister to act immediately to put the necessary arrangements in place and update the nation on this matter.”

Contacted on the issue, Lezama-Lee-Sing said the prime minister had already “…addressed the issue frontally and had previously informed the population that a request has gone out to Caricom and to the Commonwealth for observers.”

However, she noted that the PNM has always “embraced transparency in the democratic process.”

“This is evident in the manner in which we conduct our own affairs, such as the one man one vote, and the manner in which our electoral candidates are nominated, screened and selected,” Lezama Lee-Sing said.

“The PNM will not be induced into the histrionic UNC’s desperate grasps at relevance,” she added.