The management of a popular Carnival band yesterday alleged that its symbol is being used by a group which is attempting to register itself as a political party. In a statement, "Etienne and Friends" said it produced a successful band on Carnival Monday, called "We the People." The group claimed that another group recently registered with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) with a political symbol which bore the title, "We the People."
Etienne and Friends said it wanted to assure its masqueraders, friends, supporters and well-wishers that it is not connected or associated with any political movement, party, pressure group or entity bearing this title. The group further stated that its only objective is the provision of a space, "within our Carnival where masquerade remains true to its finest traditions" and is supported by live music from some of TT's best musicians.
However checks by Newsday with the EBC indicated there is no registered political party with the name "We the People". There are a total of 151 political parties registered in TT. Some are active such the People's National Movement, United National Congress, Movement for Social Justice and the Independent Liberal Party. Others such as Team Unity, Democratic Labour Party, Tapia House Movement and the Natural Law Party are defunct.
Newsday understands the EBC is currently considering requests by some groups to be registered as political parties. However these groups' names cannot be made public until their requests are addressed by the Commission. There is a public group on Facebook called "We the People- All Shall Eat" which is coordinated by former justice minister Herbert Volney. Efforts to contact Volney were unsuccessful.