UNC internal elections set for June 26

Entornointeligente.com /

The Op­po­si­tion Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) will hold its in­ter­nal elec­tions on June 26.

This was an­nounced by the par­ty’s po­lit­i­cal leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar on Sat­ur­day. Per­sad-Bisses­sar’s state­ments came af­ter the par­ty’s na­tion­al ex­ec­u­tive met on Fri­day.

In mak­ing the an­nounce­ment, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said she want­ed to get the par­ty elec­tions «out of the way» so the UNC would be ready to meet the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment at the polls for the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions due be­tween De­cem­ber 2022 and March 2023.

«Nor­mal­ly you don’t hold in­ter­nal elec­tions when there is a na­tion­al elec­tion and we know our elec­tions are due in­ter­nal­ly by the end of the year, but we can’t do it then be­cause of what is hap­pen­ing at the end of this year–Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions by law, so let’s get our par­ty elec­tion out of the way,» Per­sad-Bisses­sar said.

«To­day I put every­one on no­tice, the UNC is ready to take Gov­ern­ment and the UNC is ready to save Trinidad and To­ba­go.»

She said nom­i­na­tion forms for the elec­tion would be avail­able from May 25. Af­ter the in­ter­nal elec­tions, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said the UNC would fo­cus on its Women’s Arm and Youth Arm elec­tions.

The meet­ing was the first pub­lic one the par­ty has held since the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, and its sup­port­ers came out in their num­bers. Af­ter she fin­ished speak­ing, Per­sad-Bisses­sar was joined by sev­er­al of the Op­po­si­tion’s MPs on stage. Sev­er­al lo­cal artistes, in­clud­ing Kern «Trinidad Kil­la» Joseph and Ker­ry John, joined them, ser­e­nad­ing the sup­port­ers who were still gath­ered.

Af­ter tak­ing pho­tos with sup­port­ers who seemed ea­ger to meet with her, Per­sad-Bisses­sar spoke to mem­bers of the me­dia.

Asked if she was wor­ried about the in­ter­nal elec­tions cre­at­ing a rift in the par­ty, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said she would leave it to God.

«Do I look wor­ried? Our par­ty is very strong and very unit­ed, and it is the de­mo­c­ra­t­ic thing to do so we will hold the elec­tions. I have no fear, every­thing is in the hands of the Lord,» she said.

Dur­ing the par­ty’s in­ter­nal elec­tions in 2015, Op­po­si­tion MP Dr Roodal Mooni­lal and Vas­ant Bharath both op­posed Per­sad-Bisses­sar for the post of po­lit­i­cal leader. The cam­paign lead­ing up to the in­ter­nal elec­tions had turned dirty quick­ly, with sup­port­ers be­ing pulled in three dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions.

But when the polls closed, Per­sad-Bisses­sar man­aged to hold on to the post, gar­ner­ing 1,250 votes, with Mooni­lal get­ting 160 and Bharath get­ting 84.

Asked to ad­dress ru­mours that she would con­test the post of po­lit­i­cal leader un­op­posed, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said she would on­ly know when nom­i­na­tions are closed.

Mooni­lal said on Sat­ur­day that he has no in­ten­tion of run­ning against Per­sad-Bisses­sar this time around.

When Per­sad-Bisses­sar was asked whether she hopes to lead the par­ty in­to the next gen­er­al elec­tion, she said, «God will­ing, God will­ing.»

Ques­tioned about pos­si­ble suc­ces­sors to the post with­in the par­ty, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said every mem­ber of the UNC has a fight­ing chance.

«Each mem­ber of the UNC has a de­mo­c­ra­t­ic right to try to be­come leader and there is noth­ing wrong with that, I wel­come it, I have a lot of bright young peo­ple,» she said.

How­ev­er, she was adamant that she has not been groom­ing any suc­ces­sor.

«I can­not do that, that will be like I am her Majesty, Queen Eliz­a­beth, I’m not. This is a democ­ra­cy, so you don’t groom any­one, that is for dic­ta­tors and king­ships and queen­ships. We have a democ­ra­cy in our par­ty and every per­son has a chance to be­come the leader of the par­ty or a mem­ber of the Na­tion­al Ex­ec­u­tive, no I am not groom­ing any per­son,» she said.

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian