Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2015 Contents Saying he preferred not to rush the
decision on a possible challenge, he
added, he was speaking to a wide cross
section of T&T "...particularly founding
members...and young professionals."
He made the latter points when asked
if he's consulting with UNC founder
Basdeo Panday and daughter Mickela.
On whether he believed the battle
may damage UNC, Moonilal said, "In
2010, we were able to mobilise for elec-
tion very quickly after party elections
so I don't think a campaign can divide
this party, it has great strength and
resilience, and we have time---I don't
expect the PNM Government to col-
But at least one UNC MP supporting
Persad-Bissessar has expressed concern
about the exercise weakening the Oppo-
Naparima MP Rodney Charles, said
yesterday, "If not properly managed
this election could severely weaken the
UNC. Contending factions need to give
consideration about party before self
and make the appropriate decision."
Asked if he felt Persad-Bissessar still
had strong stocks after losing five elec-
tions over the last term, Charles said,
"Anybody who wins UNC's poll will
have to face local government polls,
two by-elections, and Tobago House
of Assembly polls in future as well as
possible polls in five seats if the UNC
wins its election petitions. One has to
factor that in when you talk of losing."
Charles was among several MPs who
attended Persad-Bissessar's leadership
campaign launch last Saturday in Penal.
Others were MPs Dr Lackram Bodoe,
Suruj Rambachan, Christine Newallo-
Hosein and David Lee. But several other
MPs were absent.
Newallo-Hosein and Barry Padarath
last week expressed support for Per-
sad-Bissessar. Padarath said he hadn't
been invited to the meeting, but had
gone after learning about it via media.
He said it seemed invitations weren't
issued and it was a general gathering.
Bharath who didn't attend last Sat-
urday's meeting said he hasn't spoken
to Persad-Bissessar on the election.
Whether he's decided on contesting,
Bharath said he'd been talking "to a lot
of people---clearly there are differing
views. One has to take all of those into
MP Rudy Indarsingh said he didn't
attend the event since he was in his
constituency. He said he hasn't decided
who he's supporting.
MP Ramona Ramdial said she too
hadn't attended, saying, "Apparently
it was a constituency thing. I haven't
decided who I'll support; I know Mrs
Persad-Bissessar is an option, I'm hear-
ing Roodal Moonilal is an option also
and there might be a third or fourth."
Dr Tim Gopeesingh, not saying "yea"
on either contender, said "I'm giving
a lot of thought to it and will make a
statement later on."
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 27, 2015
October 26th, 2015
October 26th, 2015
October 26th, 2015
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October 26th, 2015
Opposition Leader Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar has the support of
at least seven of the 16 other UNC
MPs, according to party insiders.
Persad-Bissessar is likely to face
competition for the top party post
from deputy political leader Roodal
Moonilal and Vasant Bharath.
Moonilal is calling on UNC
members to give him their opinion
on whether he should contest the
UNC leadership before he makes
a decision by weekend.
Saying he's having talks with
supporters and others outside the
party including founding members,
Moonilal said yesterday, "I'm call-
ing on all members to register their
views with us before any decision."
T&T Guardian learned Persad-
Bissessar has been meeting several
MPs on the issue. Some have
expressed support for her---but
several others remain non-com-
mittal---and there are expressions
of support for Moonilal from at
least four MPs to date.
On Sunday, San Juan/Barataria
MP Fuad Khan, speaking from
Mexico, said Persad-Bissessar
should step down and contest the
post of chairman. Deadline for
nominations is November 20.
Replying to queries including
when he'll announce his decision,
Moonilal said the situation before
him is not of his personal making:
"I'm being asked by many peo-
ple...it's the view of members, sup-
porters, incumbent MPs, council-
lors and chairmen...I've been
approached by a lot of people to
go forward and because it's a crit-
ical juncture and decision, we d
welcome members' views on it,
Also, there have been alternative
views emerging in the party---such
as Dr Khan's recently---and we
need to look at those sort of views
"I intend to speak with Dr Khan
on his return to T&T. He's a very
senior, valuable member of our
team and the only MP to have won
a clear marginal seat so his views
are very important to us."
On whether he'd heeded Khan's
view that other former members
like Jack Warner should return,
Moonilal said he hadn't talked to
Warner, but had to speak to any
member "...especially those who
worked very hard over the years
and have a greater stake in UNC's
Making public calls for political
leaders to step down after an elec-
tion defeat is not part of the polit-
ical tradition of T&T and the
This was the view of political
analyst, Mukesh Basdeo, in response
to open calls from San Juan/
Barataria UNC MP Dr Fuad Khan,
former UNC minister, Herbert Vol-
ney, and other members of the pub-
lic for Opposition Leader Kamla
Persad-Bissessar to resign after her
party's defeat in the September 7
The calls intensified after Per-
sad-Bissessar announced her inten-
tion to defend her title in the party's
December 5 internal elections.
But, according to Basdeo, calls
were not made for former prime
ministers, George Chambers, Patrick
Manning, Arthur NR Robinson and
Basdeo Panday to step down as
political leader of their parties after
they lost elections.
He recalled the 1986 general elec-
tion when the PNM lost to the
National Alliance for Reconstruction
(NAR) 33/3, then prime minister,
Chambers, who also lost his seat,
was not called upon by PNM mem-
bers and others to resign as party
political leader and opposition
Leader, Basdeo said.
Even Robinson, after the bloody
1990 attempted overthrow of his
government and the NAR's subse-
quent defeat in the 1991 general
election, did not step down as leader
of his party.
Manning, installed as PNM leader
by 1991, won the general election
that year but lost in 1995 when there
was a hung parliament.
He also lost the election in 2000
but still held on as political leader,
Basdeo pointed out.
Basdeo said most of the political
leaders who stepped down were
result of losing any election.
"They usually left after losing
their parties' internal elections, as
happened with Manning and Panday
In 2010, Manning, after the
PNM's defeat in the May general
election, was replaced by Dr Keith
Panday had lost to Persad-Bisses-
sar in the UNC's internal elections
in January 2010, a few months
before the general election.
"This public call for Persad-
Bissessar to step down after the
UNC's defeat in the September 7
general election, is something we
have to look at carefully.
"This principle of a political leader
stepping down after an election
defeat is not in the political tradition
in the Commonwealth," Basdeo said.
While T&T follows the Westmin-
ster political system, there are dif-
ferent political traditions in the two
countries, he said.
"In Britain, the political leaders
who led their parties to defeat would
usually step down. This hasn't so
much been the case in T&T and the
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Seven UNC MPs backing Kamla
UNC Deputy political leader
'Election defeats no cause
for leader to step down'
Political analyst, Mukesh Basdeo.
Independent Liberal Party (ILP) founder, Jack Warner has responded
to San Juan/Barataria MP, Dr Fuad Khan's call for his return to the UNC.
In a release yesterday, headlined, "No desire to help the Cabal", Warner
turned down the invitation.
"While I wish to thank and commend Dr Khan for his honesty and
frankness on the matter of how the UNC has found itself in its current
predicament, I wish to make it very clear that I have no desire to rejoin
the UNC in any capacity.
"I have no desire to inflict the likes of Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the
rest of the cabal upon the people of T&T by returning those persons to
WARNER: THANKS BUT NO THANKS
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