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Friday 21 September 2018
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Panday: COP spoilt UNC A win

Supported by his wife Oma who clutched his arm, and dressed in a bright orange shirt, UNC Alliance (UNC A) co-leader Basdeo Panday last night conceded defeat in the General Election and said that “the people have spoken.”

Even though, Panday won the Couva North seat, the UNC A’s overall defeat weighed heavy on him. The UNC A captured 15 seats, while the People’s National Movement (PNM) was way ahead with 26 seats. The Congress of the People (COP) did not win any.

Panday insisted the UNC A’s defeat at the polls was “a well orchestrated plot” devised by the COP and the PNM.

Panday maintained that if the COP was not around the UNC A would have formed the next government.

Even so, he said the UNC A will meet to decide who will be the next Leader of the Opposition. Panday returns to Parliament after his seat was declared vacant following his conviction on integrity related charges. The case fell apart at the magistrates’ court and his conviction was overturned. During the election campaign, the Court of Appeal upheld Parliament’s decision to declare his seat vacant.

When asked about the fight he received from COP candidate Hulsie Bhaggan, Panday quipped “what fight?”

He made it clear that the UNC A put up a good fight and its candidates are still winners.

Panday pointed out that the strategy he used to include Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, who won the Tabaquite seat, worked, but the COP proved to be the spoiler in the election.

He said that he will be spending the next few day writing his book.

Panday only spoke with the reporters for a few minutes before being whisked inside a room at Rienzi Complex, Couva where he was joined by Warner, the UNC A chairman, and Hamza Rafeeq who retained the Caroni Central seat.

Panday and Warner spoke quietly in a corner but they appeared to be in good spirits. Newsday learned that an emergency meeting has been called by Panday and Warner with the candidates who won.

A sombre-looking Warner declared he has no plans to assume the role of Leader of the Opposition, and neither is he interested in any top post in the UNC A.

Prior to the arrival of Warner, UNC A supporters appeared dismayed by the results.

The party planned at Rienzi Complex never got off as planned.

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