Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2013 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, August 11, 2013
with Clevon Raphael
Q: Mrs Oudit, is it now
open season on the
United National Con-
gress and by extension the Peo-
ple s Partnership Government?
A : (Seated in the living
room of her Bell Vue,
South Oropouche, home
Wednesday afternoon) Well, I
never thought it was closed. I
thought people were evolving,
thoughts were evolving. But what
do you mean by open season.
Poaching? (A big smile)
Well, I think people are simply
going to be thinking for themselves
They were not thinking before
I think there is lot of mind games
playing off as politics and if you
check back to the past, Mr
Raphael, 50s, 60s, 70s, people
voted party and once you belonged
to the party you were stuck
there...it was part of your DNA...
Party politics has always been
a part of our modern-day elec-
toral experience and is there any-
thing inherently wrong with this
formula as it were?
I don t think party politics
evolved in the way it was required
and people simply gave the party
their conscience rather than having
the conscience themselves and
thinking things through. We gave
it the party.
Speaking about conscience,
Mrs Oudit, are you happy or at
peace with yourself over your
switching of parties? Your con-
science is not bothering you?
(Swift response) Definitely. Very
clear. You wouldn t believe how
light I am feeling right now. I am
very calm, very collected in my
thoughts. But in the last couple of
weeks I had been in a state of
I saw the direction of the party
doing things that if I had to speak
to the leader or the national exec-
utive I would have said, Don t do
that, this is causing a hurt in the
Such as? And how long you
were witnessing these negative
It was a gradual procession of
things but certainly in my mind it
started in 2010, and they were not
listening to the voice of con-
stituents, the party s membership.
We didn t listen as well as we
Mrs Oudit, are you telling me
that this disconnect that some
people have been accusing the
political directorate of began
shortly after the May 24, 2010,
electoral victory of the PP?
Early on and I have some
responsibility in there because I
was a member of the national
How was that exemplified?
It was exemplified in the fact
that it actually started when the
call was made for persons to be
selected as candidates for the gen-
eral election. Not all those selected
as candidates came from con-
stituencies which had sent in their
nominees. And you brought back
the same people who were rejected
by their very own constituency.
Tell me how is that different
from Chaguanas West?
As a member of the Natex, did
you bring your concerns to the
leader of the party?
Oh, definitely. We had a couple
What was the exact nature of
some of these concerns?
Even in the selection process. I
was actually part of the screening
process when we chose persons
and in the screening, concerns
There were people I would have
asked questions about represen-
tation...you know I said that, The
people don t want you because
you don t have a track record of
Again you go back to who is
You would correct me, Mrs
Oudit, if I am wrong but did you,
after the general election, speak
about being disappointed in not
getting a ministerial position?
(Vehement denial, gesticulating
while doing so) No. No. I never
Ok, I am sorry, Mrs Oudit, my
mistake. Let s turn our attention
to the CW by-election. Did you
take part in the campaign of the
UNC at all?
No. I wasn t here for most of it,
not even for the election on July
29.I know that you have always
been a supporter of the interim
political leader of the Independent
Liberal Party, Jack Warner, which
is your right...?
Would you say that your deci-
sion to switch allegiance to the
ILP was influenced by that rela-
Lyndira Oudit on quitting the PP:
No. I am not giving responsibility to
anyone for my decision and it was based
on what I felt was happening in the
party. He might have been a catalyst
for forming a party which I can go to,
but right now there are many like me.
I take it because you were not here
for the campaign you cannot pro-
nounce on what transpired in that
(Left hand resting on the back rest
of her chair.) Oh, I can because I looked
at it on the social network.
Very well. I found it at times to be
very repugnant. Did you?
Well, I wouldn t want to use that
word but I thought we had descended
into really nasty politics. I was very
ashamed and I felt that was what I
never wanted to be part of, and what
I found ironic was that at no time did
I hear Mr Warner say anything negative
about the Prime Minister or the party
or whatever. There were some things
... Oh, you were really did not hear
No, I heard it and I know there was
He said nothing negative about the
(Strenuously nodding.) No. I don t
think he said anything negative. He
said he was not saying anything and
what he did say he raised issues.
Tongue in cheek?
Tongue in cheek is not nasty and I
know there were issues regarding certain
ministers. Picong is expected but you
get that in the Parliament (throwing
her hands across animatedly).
Lyndira Oudit, who last week resigned as Vice
President of the Senate and as a member of the
United National Congress (UNC), the main arm in the
People's Partnership (PP) administration, was
rejected as a candidate by the UNC to contest the
May 24, 2010, general election.
The educator, who immediately after quitting the
positions was appointed an interim deputy political
leader of the newly-formed Independent Liberal
Party, claims the PP regime began to lose connection
with the people soon after the general election in
which it defeated the former ruling People's National
She says that her support of ILP's interim political
leader Jack Warner influenced in part her decision to
change her political alignment.
Continues on Page A9
Former vice president of the
Senate and current interim
deputy political leader of the
Liberal Party Lyndira Oudit.
PHOTOS: RISHI RAGOONATH
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