Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 6th 2015 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, November 6, 2015
Despite an unsolved multi-million
dollar fraud allegation hanging over
his head, Sir Ronald Sanders continues
to receive the backing of the majority
of Commonwealth Caribbean Govern-
ments for the post of the Common-
wealth Secretary General.
In January 2012, the Guyanese-born
Sanders who migrated to Antigua and
Barbuda, was named, along with former
Antigua prime minister, Lester Bird,
and former MP, Asot Michael, in an
alleged fraud matter involving a US$29.7
million loan with interest from
Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries
Company (IHI Japan) to the Antigua
Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
Then Antigua and Barbuda prime
minister, Baldwin Spencer, who brought
the matter forward, questioned to what
extent repayment monies intended for
IHI were allegedly diverted into the
possession, or for the benefit, of other
people or corporations and asked that
the whereabouts of the money be
Media sources in Antigua, who have
been tracking the case, told the T&T
Guardian the case went cold after
Sanders brought a lawsuit against the
"The police backed out and that was
the end of that," a journalist said.
"The police investigations went cold
and the matter went dead. The police,
threatened by Sanders lawsuit, backed
off. Nothing happened since. The inves-
tigations just petered out."
Sanders lawsuit came after the police
issued a public appeal to him to present
himself to be interviewed in relation to
Reports coming out of Antigua at
the time said most of the people whom
investigators wanted to question had
presented themselves to the police to
be interviewed, except Sanders.
Events took a dramatic turn in June
2014, Gaston Browne won Antigua and
Barbuda s general elections sending out
Spencer and his United Progressive
In July 2014, Sanders was appointed
Antigua and Barbuda s High Commis-
sioner to the United Kingdom, a post
he has held twice.
By February 2015, the government
of Antigua and Barbuda had nominated
him as the next secretary-general of
In December 2014, when the 12
Commonwealth Caribbean Govern-
ments met in Cuba, Sanders received
the support of nine of them.
no bar for
Sir Ronald Sanders
A number of United National Congress (UNC) mem-
bers, including young people, are urging Opposition
Senator Vasant Bharath to enter the party s leadership
race and he has been consulting various UNC con-
stituencies in recent weeks, it has been confirmed.
A spokesman said Bharath will likely announce by
the end of the week what action he would pursue---
whether contesting or not.
Sources close to Bharath confirmed Tuesday night
that he had been having meetings with various con-
stituencies including Couva South members, Tunapuna
and other areas and party units to understand the feelings
on the "ground" and decide whether he should con-
They said it had been noted there was still
support for incumbent leader Kamla Persad-
Bissessar as well as growing support for sole
challenger to date, Oropouche East MP
They confirmed Bharath had also noted
divisions among particular UNC units on
Meanwhile, UNC officials after
Wednesday s national executive meeting,
said they were not aware of any legal
challenge in the offing to the election
process but "wouldn t be surprised if there
Sources said if any challenge came, it
might be from Moonilal s side since there
have been "whispers" of this. They said:
"Initially, Moonilal was very confident and
now his camp appears to be concerned about
Moonilal didn t answer calls yesterday.
Some members of his team said they were
unaware of any challenges being considered.
Another Bharath in the party, former
councillor Prakash Bharath, assistant sec-
retary of UNC s Tunapuna executive, has
admitted there were some executive mem-
bers with differing views on the leadership
He said he supported giving Persad-
Bissessar another three years until the next
leadership election in 2018 to try and
rebrand and reinvigorate the UNC. He
said the position was outlined by activists,
himself and other Tunapuna members at
a briefing on Tuesday.
But he stressed that group didn t speak
for the executive and that briefing didn t
feature UNC Tunapuna chairman Hamlyn
He also denied the group had been man-
dated to hold its briefing by UNC hierarchy
or leadership officials.
He said: "I can t speak for the entire
executive but we called a briefing on Tues-
day because senior activists, area managers,
the rank and file are telling us they strongly
want to retain the incumbent leader.
"People believe losing the general election
wasn t entirely her fault.
"People around her gave her advice, the
Congress of the People (COP) had lost pop-
ularity in the East-West Corridor but the
UNC still performed creditably since the
party won 17 of the 18 seats the People s
"She s still vibrant and loved. We ve sug-
gested, the party can give her three years to
do the necessary work to return to government
and if there are changes, the MPs and rank
and file want after that, then so be it."
...to decide by weekend
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