Kamla: United Opposition ready for any election

Admitting that “approach” and “strategies” are yet to be finalised, Persad-Bissessar told Newsday yesterday, “We will do our best to work out things in the time-frame we have.”

Persad-Bissessar met with COP political leader Winston Dookeran last Friday to discuss an accommodation between the two parties after which they said there will be a one-to-one fight against the PNM if any election, general or local government is called. Persad-Bissessar said that Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s announcement at the PNM’s convention on Saturday that his party will begin the search for candidates for a general election, was no surprise to her.

“We have been preparing for any eventuality. Mr Manning has been faced with ongoing pressure so we have been preparing,” Persad-Bissessar said.

But she said Manning’s call was a half-baked one and commented that the PNM political leader should have also announced the date when candidate screenings should end. Manning announced that nomination for candidates will begin next week Wednesday in his own San Fernando East constituency.

Persad-Bissessar commented, “Screening could go on for a year.”

During his speech, Manning did not say if a general election would be held this year, neither did he say what were his plans for local government elections which have not been held for nearly five years. On recent walkabout, he promised that the local election would take place this year.

UNC deputy political leader Suruj Rambachan yesterday said Manning would not set the UNC’s agenda, but rather the Opposition would monitor and make sure the party is ready.

“The UNC is working on a different methodology, which is going out and inspiring and uniting the people,” Rambachan said.

Asked whether he believed Manning’s announcement was a red-herring or an indication of a possible snap election, Rambachan said, “In his state of mind, anything is possible. He has been acting and speaking irrationally.”

Pressed as to how he sees unity playing out between the COP and the UNC, Rambachan said, “There are many models to fight...what is important is to find one which would ensure sustainability and longevity at whatever it is aimed at.”

Meanwhile, Persad-Bissessar is scheduled to leave for Fort Lauderdale, Miami, for a fund-raising dinner which will be held on Saturday, April 3. Rambachan said the UNC is expected to raise funds for the party.


"Kamla: United Opposition ready for any election"

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