Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 7th 2015 Contents FUTURE UNCERTAIN
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
news Monday, December 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
For breaking news, call 225-4465 Exts 2032, 2033, 2004 or email us at email@example.com
for 04TH DECEMBER, 2015
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says
defeated leadership candidate Dr Roodal Moonilal
is free to take his concerns over the partys internal
election to the election committee and wherever
else he sees fit.
She made the comment in response to claims of
irregularities in Saturday s voting, which handed her
Team UNC slate total victory over their competitors.
Speaking at her Siparia Constituency Office in Penal
on Saturday night after being declared the winner,
she said the margin of her victory was too great for
there to be any doubt.
"I will say to him that those matters are to be
raised with the election committee, but it is very
hard to see that a resounding victory like this is being
questioned. If the results were close in the numbers,
then there would be cause for concern but I believe
they re really landslide numbers. It really doesn t give
cause but they are free to raise it with the election
committee and where else as they see fit," Persad-
Although her leadership of the party was criticised
during the election campaign, she called on all mem-
bers to come together again, saying that the real
enemy was not within the party but the People s
"I thank all the supporters who came out and
helped us to attain this victory and I say we are still
one UNC family. To all my opponents, we belong to
the same UNC family, we need to ban together and
work together to fight our real enemy and that enemy
is the PNM. I invite everyone for us to work together
as a strengthened UNC following this election as we
go forward in the future."
Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh, whose Loyalist
slate also suffered defeat, said the party would continue
as a united team in the Parliament.
In an interview at Moonilal s Oropouche East Con-
stituency Office in Debe on Saturday night,
Gopeesingh, who contested position of chairman,
said good leaders forget the past quickly.
"This is the Westminster System, the first-past-
the-post, and leaders know exactly what to do. A
good leader will continue to build a strong team, that
is what leadership is about. You have to almost forget
the past," he said.
"We are a unified team. There is no question when
it comes to Parliament, we are a Government in wait-
ing. When it comes to Parliament, we are very strong
and powerful. They will not beat the United Nation-
al Congress in terms of its ability to raise issues, to
discuss issues, to debate issues, bring the party to
the forefront and bring the Government to answer
He likened the fractures in the UNC to past rifts
in the PNM between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley,
former prime minister Patrick Manning and former
deputy speaker Penelope Beckles-Robinson. However,
when told that those rifts were never healed, he said
there will always be winners and losers in politics.
As for his criticism of Persad-Bissessar s leadership,
he said, "One knows the weaknesses and the strengths
of what went on and therefore that is something
that has gone on."
Defeated leadership candidate Dr Roodal
Moonilal is challenging the fairness of
Saturday s United National Congress
(UNC) internal election, saying it was rid-
dled with fraud and irregularities.
His claim came after over a dozen blank
ballot papers were found on the bank of
the Katwaroo Dam in Penal yesterday.
According to Moonilal, who led the Loy-
alists team, there were also reports of people
seen with ballot papers outside polling sta-
tions in Central Trinidad, poor quality ink
which could be wiped off, members names
appearing several times on one list and in
some cases the same names appearing in
several constituencies. He said there were
also instances where members were allowed
to vote although their names were not on
the voters list, while in some stations mem-
bers whose names were not on the list but
had a party card were not allowed to vote.
Moonilal said his team also had a photo-
graph of someone removing a ballot box
from a polling station around 1 pm on Sat-
urday, claiming that it was full and needed
to be replaced. He said spoilt ballots were
counted in Fyzabad.
"The overall assessment is that it was
not fair and it was not free. The list was
terribly inappropriate and that may have
led to mass fraud," Moonilal told the T&T
Guardian in a telephone interview yester-
"I am not arguing that if all of the defects
were taken that we would have been suc-
cessful. Maybe the results would have been
the same, but what this does is undermine
the integrity and credibility of the system,
and regrettably the persons who have won
by this flawed process."
During an interview last month, Moonilal
had also raised concerns about the freeness
and fairness of the election, saying that a
member of the election committee had
participated in a strategy meeting for re-
elected political leader Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar. Although the member subsequently
resigned, he charged that several of Per-
sad-Bissessar s team members were pre-
siding officers at the election.
Yesterday, he added, "We had very serious
concerns at a time, particularly about the
list. We were complaining for weeks about
the lists, with several people s names
appearing three and four times.
"On election day, when you connect the
dots and the vanishing ink, from ever since
we have been involved in elections in this
country, we have used a red ink that stays
on your finger for days, sometimes weeks."
Although he was undecided on whether
court action would follow, he said his attor-
neys were taking statements from witnesses.
He acknowledged Persad-Bissessar s vic-
tory with over 15,000 votes, but questioned
whether the result would have been the
same if not for the irregularities.
"At this stage I cannot say whether or
not we will embark on any court action,
but certainly the party needs to take stock.
We have to look at some of the statements
we have from persons. You can only take
court action if you have the requisite state-
ments properly done," he said.
"Court action cannot be on the basis of
hearsay, it must be done in the basis of
information that is presented by those per-
sons who have witnessed wrong doing."
Moonilal also questioned election com-
mittee chairman Rampersad Parasam s claim
that the ink used in the election was the
same used by the Elections and Boundaries
Commission. On Saturday, Moonilal
demonstrated how easily the ink was
removed from his finger using a "Wet
Calls to Persad-Bissessar s phone yes-
terday went unanswered and she did not
return calls or messages left.
Diaz with the
the Year at
UNC election irregularities upset Moonilal
Mass fraud may have occurred
Win margin speaks
As to his future relationship with
Persad-Bissessar, Moonilal said he had
worked with her during her time as
prime minister and Opposition Leader
so nothing would change. He said he
was also careful not to attack her
during his campaign.
"I have worked with the Opposition
Leader before as prime minister and
shortly as Opposition Leader. Nothing
will change and I was careful on the
platform not to be attacking her. I
have never raised issues of
personality, that is not my kind of
politics," he said.
"We gave a vision and a programme
for the party. In a sense, the
Opposition leader, not withstanding
how unfair the process was, has to
continue to provide the leadership and
I wish her the best with her new
Although he expressed little
confidence in the new executive, he
said he would give his support. As for
his role in the party, now that he is no
longer an executive member but
continues as the Oropouche East MP,
he said, "I continue to represent my
constituency in Parliament. I continue
my parliamentary work. I have been in
the party for many years as an officer,
so that type of work will cease but I
continue to hold on as a UNC member
and supporter as much as I can.
"You have to give the new members
of the executive, however unfair the
process was to put them there, the
space and the latitude to contribute as
best they can. We don't have
confidence in this new executive, but
they have gone through a lot to be
there and they must be given the
latitude to make a contribution if that
Links Archive December 6th 2015 December 8th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page