Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2015 Contents A11
July 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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Hamel-Smith: We want
to attack corruption
From Page A10
Is it fair to be criticising the
Government for not carrying
through the whole thing at this
Until the legislation is passed
you could be preparing the people
by training them but by the time
the law is passed, you could have
been preparing people for the
wrong thing and then all your
training is done in vain. We all
the right sequence. Jamaica has
procurement legislation but it took
a long time for a gestation period.
And I want people to understand
that because so many of our insti-
tutions have failed, if we fail in
this one (clasped palms on his
chest) it would be a terrible dis-
Mr Hamel-smith, because of
the apparent glee and joy by
stakeholders who have welcomed
procurement legislation, do you
really believe that this would be
the panacea for breaking the cor-
ruption grip in our land?
There is not one single panacea
for corruption here. What I say
about it is that it has the potential
to change the projectory of politics
and to change the financial land-
scape of T&T.
If we get this right there is a
lot riding on it. I am not saying
this is the only thing we have to
do, but it is an important foun-
dation to get where we want to.
We get this wrong sadly, Clevon,
it is going to be same old politics.
Mr Hamel-Smith, although
you were not that critical when
you were removed as the Senate
President at the behest of the
Prime Minister (interrupting the
Yes, I said I was shocked about
it and I am not saying it was fair
or right but you see, I do not
attach myself to positions.
In that context, the average
person would have made a big
stink about it, but I see you are
coming back into public life
when you and Mr (Gerald) Yet-
ming went to the St Helena
meeting of the UNC and had a
chat with the Prime Minister?
Of course. I feel, Clevon, I, like
many other people, have a con-
tribution to make but because the
politics is so dirty, when you step
into the trenches mud would be
flying. I have been told: "Hamel-
Smith, cockroach doh have no
place in fowl business." Do you
know what that says, "Bes leave
the politics to all those fowls."
But good people need to come
forward and if you have a con-
tribution to make you need to
stand up and live up to it no mat-
ter the danger, no matter the sac-
rifices you have to make.
So, I am here today.
You mentioned dirty politics,
what s your take on what is going
on right now with this baccha-
nalia emanating from one par-
ticular leader for example?
(Shaking his head in disap-
pointment) It is cat and dog pol-
itics, and I am not there. My
intention, as we make our mark
here in the politics, is to change
the political culture of the land.
What is the Third Force, Mr
Essentially it is a vehicle
designed to take cognisance and
act on behalf of those voters who
are unattached to parties or unde-
cided, and we feel that we are in
a win-win situation in that if it
does not happen for this election
it will happen sometime in the
future as we are in it for the long
What s the main aim and
objective of the Third Fore?
This include demanding imple-
mentation of procurement legis-
lation, introduction of proper
party financing and campaigning
legislation, and having an electoral
system that s fair and is non-dis-
Does this mean our electoral
system is not fair?
There is a difference between
election and electoral system. Our
present situation discriminates
against a large percentage of the
voters who are not represented in
the Parliament when their party
does not get a single seat, even
though there is ground support
on election day.
Given the entrenched positions
of both the ruling UNC, the main
component of the People s Part-
nership alliance, and the People s
National Movement, how opti-
mistic are you that this Third
Force will not fade way in time
I am very optimistic about our
future because this system is what
we need to get a more equitable
system rather than the first-past-
the-post setup, which is not
working properly for us at this
Timothy Hamel-Smith, chairman of the Third Force Movement, left, and political
leader of the Alliance of Independents, Nicole Dyer-Griffith, during Friday's launch
of T&T's newest political party and unveiling of its logo at The Normandie, St
Ann's. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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