Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2017 Contents A12 news
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Yesterday, Vasant Bharath said he still hasn’t received
a reply from the party on his request sent last week for
an assurance regarding the integrity of UNC’s election.
“If I don’t hear from them by tomorrow, I’ll send a
follow-up notice,” he said.
His latest campaign stops have taken him to Princes
Town, Barrackpore and La Horquetta/Talparo, he
added. Bharath plans launching his national executive
slate early next week ahead of next Wednesday’s
nomination day for the party election.
Meanwhile, the PNM will hold its annual convention
on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Savannah. But Balisier
House confirmed no executive elections will be held
All executive PNM posts including that of political
leader will be open for contest next year via PNM’s one-
man /one vote system, the party secretariat added.
The following weekend the Congress of the People
will elect a leader from between former deputy leaders
Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan and Sharon Gopaul-
The Movement for Social Justice will also hold
executive and leadership elections on November 19.
I’m not deterred
RADHICA DE SILVA
Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Fran-
cis says he will not bow to threats from parents of
Siparia Union Presbyterian pupils who say they will
protest outside his home to press for completion of
a new school building. More than 390 pupils have
been unable to attend classes since a fire destroyed
their temporary school last month.
“I am not the type to be worked up by threats. If
they come they could stand outside my gate. Once
they stand outside on the public road its fine. I don’t
see why they would want to come by my home and
protest. I find that very inappropriate,” Francis told
the T&T Guardian yesterday.
“We have come to the point in this country
where we no longer have the kind of values and
morals which we should
have. The more impor-
tant issue is the school
and the children. Their
school is one which we
have prioritised in terms
of completing. There has
been an issue with some
internal problems at the
Education Facilities Com-
pany Limited which we
are trying to solve. Once
we have solved them, we
will progress to continue
construction and finish
the first phase which will
house the students.”
He added: “If people
want to behave inappropriately, I cannot stop them
and I will not fuss about it. I am more concerned
about getting the school ready so that the students
will have a proper place to get their education.”
PTA president Reard Niamath said the parents
never threatened anyone.
“We are not sending threats all we want is a meet-
ing. The Minister said he will close the shutters if we
come to his office so we have decided to go to his
home,” he said.
Niamath said remedial works were supposed to
start at Iere High School to accommodate some
of the Standard Five pupils but nothing has been
“We want to see Minister Garcia,” he said. “If the
Ministry continues to deprive our children of their
education, what will happen to them? We cannot
continue protesting indefinitely. We want the Min-
istry to find accommodation for over children while
they complete the new school.”
Niamath wants Education Ministry officials to
meet with the parents to plan a way forward.
MP for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe yesterday ex-
pressed regret that an electrical fire had gutted the
temporary wing which accommodated four Stand-
ard Five classes.
“Over 350 pupils are being deprived of their fun-
damental right to quality and continuous education
because the current Government refused to com-
plete the new structure. It is almost 90 per cent
complete and could have served as an alternative
accommodation had not cheap partisan politics
stopped construction and payment to the contrac-
tors,” he said.
“Administrative capability and care of the young
must be demonstrated by officials of the Ministry of
Education in addressing the valid concerns of the
demonstrating parents and pupils in a achieving a
quick restoration of schooling for pupils.”
Bodoe said he supported the “vigilance of par-
ents and the activism of the PTA.”
“Children must not suffer from the display of
cheap and immature politics as this becomes the
contents of their book bags and a sordid part of
their education legacy,” he said.
The MP is calling on Education Minister Anthony
Garcua to take politics out of education and com-
plete the new school.
Minister of State in the
Ministry of Education
Dr Lovell Francis
Fuad: I’ll work with
whoever leads UNC
He isn’t prepared to be spe-
cific—instead UNC MP Dr Fuad
Khan says he’ll work with who-
ever is elected United National
“Whoever wins, I’ll work
with them,” Khan repeated
twice when asked if he’s sup-
porting incumbent UNC leader
Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the
party’s November 26 executive
and leadership elections.
She’s received support from
the majority of UNC’s 18-mem-
ber MP team.
Khan, who returned from a
recent Rome trip, added: “She
already has enough in hand to
squeeze—she doesn’t need any
more from me. I wish her the
best, but I know she won’t need it.”
Khan also said he will not offer himself for nomination for his
San Juan/Barataria seat for 2020 general election.
“I’ve made up my mind on that one . Whoever wants to go
up in 2020, I’ll help them win the seat—but I’m out,” he added.
On UNC’s party polls, Khan added: “It’s not a matter of who
is supporting who in this. It’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll
win since the majority of party voters come from areas in South
“Vasant (Bharath) doesn’t have a chance where such a mem-
bership is concerned. He’s a good person, but he’s going up
against a base from Siparia and surrounding areas and the lead-
ership is determined by people who come out to vote from the
party not from the national community of T&T overall.”
Khan added: “I’d indicated to him that he shouldn’t contest be-
cause it’s an exercise in futility since the UNC will remain where
it is, as (Basdeo) Panday says—that is, unless they look at national
registration of voters for the election.”
“In any event, talking about elections now makes abso-
lutely no sense. We have three years to the next elections
and three years is a long time. But things can change in
the last 18 months but if people want to hype up support-
ers now, go ahead.”
He said he had no plan to contest any executive post.
“People should be free to choose, but people unfor-
tunately vote slate and ‘dumb’ down everything. If
we continue to have the same political systems
in T&T, the country won’t be going anywhere in
the next 20 years. We’re already going downhill
After visiting progressive countries, I can’t
believe how backward we’ve become in T&T.
We’re reactionary. The only thing we’re inter-
ested in is Carnival—that mentality is killing
Member of Parliament for
Barataria/ San Juan Dr Fuad Khan
WHAT VASANT SAID
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