Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 23rd 2015 Contents A7
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While UNC MPs Barry Padarath and
Christine Newallo-Hosein are support-
ing UNC incumbent Kamla Persad-
Bissessar for the leadership of the party,
several other UNC MPs are not com-
mitting yet on who they might support
for the post.
This follows the announcement that
all party posts, including the leadership,
are up for grabs and will be contested
in December 5 party elections. Nomi-
nation forms are available from today.
Nomination Day is November 20.
Incumbent Persad-Bissessar didn t
answer calls yesterday on her position.
UNC deputy leader Roodal Moonilal
said he would consult his constituency
and UNC members on whether he
should return as UNC deputy political
leader. UNC sources said yesterday there
was some support simmering among
UNC s frontline MPs for Moonilal.
UNC Senator Vasant Bharath, also
considered a possible leadership con-
tender, said he had not considered the
issue since the announcement had only
just been made.
He said when he considered it, then
he would decide.
UNC Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe
Tewarie said hoped an early election
would help re-energise the party. He
declined further comment.
Padarath said he had not decided on
whether he would contest a party post
but had thrown his support for leadership
He said that followed consultations
with his constituency and executive and
inflow of support from Princes Town
residents who "have told me to tell the
leader to stay strong because their sup-
port is with her."
On whether Persad-Bissessar could
retain the leadership following con-
cerns that she had lost five elections
in as many years, he said UNC vot-
ers would be voting in this election
and she had retained strong support
in the party despite the election
He added: "Her brand remains
strong. She s also been speaking of
rebranding and re-developing the
party structure, "and we may see
some changes coming forward.
"However, her stocks are still very
strong, stronger than anyone else s
in the party structure and she s far
ahead of any other personality. She
had always been popular even in
government when the PP Govern-
ment was itself unpopular.
"Elections were lost due to several
reasons in various constituencies,
including the ILP split, and she s
been reviewing the reasons why we
may have lost. Many feel she can
return to win again and this is an
opportunity to do so, and I definitely
think she can with the right team."
Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Chris-
tine Newallo-Hosein said she felt
the party s leadership required
someone who could attract East-
West Corridor support as well as
She said she would support
incumbent Persad-Bissessar since
she felt her stocks were still strong
and believed she had offered herself
for leadership again. She said she
did not plan to contest a party post
since she felt such posts required
full time attention and dedication
to ensure the party was organised.
Most other UNC MPs reached
by phone were non-committal.
Among views on who they sup-
port for leader and if they would
contest any post, MP Fazal Karim
tersely said he had no comment.
MP Rudy Indarsingh said he
would decide in "due course" if he
would contest anything and on
After more than two
weeks of debate in Par-
liament, the Govern-
ment s $63 billion
Budget was passed in
the Senate yesterday
Pegged on an oil
price of US$45 a barrel
and carrying a $20 bil-
lion deficit, it was
passed without going
into the committee
$63bn budget passed
stage in the Senate.
It was passed previ-
ously in the Lower House
Finance Minister Colm
Imbert, wrapping up the
debate, begged that the
Appropriation Bill 2015
not be committed to the
committee of the whole
Senate. There were no
Dismissing a sugges-
tion to decrease the
budget to $50 billion, he
said they would have to
kill him first.
Any decrease would
lead to massive retrench-
ment, a host of negative
social consequences and
immediate negative eco-
nomic growth, he said.
Imbert welcomed rec-
ommendations made by
senators to increase rev-
He also called on the
population to join in a
collective effort to rescue
the nation from the sit-
uation it was in.
UNC's December 5 internal elections...
Frontline backing for Moonilal
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