Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh has described a letter sent to him by the United National Congress (UNC) national executive (natex) as a “verbose and discursive response, tainted by arrogance and hubris.”
He said that the natex letter to him did not adequately addressed the issues he had raised concerning the constitutionally of the party’s political leader calling a snap election one year before her term of office was due to expire.
The tit-for-tat sparring sparked off when Singh, in an October 23 letter, raised the issue when the natex announced, last week, that the election for both the natex and political leader positions, would be up for grabs on November 26.
The party then responded to Singh’s letter through Freedom House Law Chambers headed by former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan which described Singh’s initial letter as “baseless, frivolous, vexatious and without legal merit.” The legal letter, which was signed by attorney Douglas Bayley of Freedom House, stated that Singh’s interpretation of Article 18 of the UNC’s constitution, was a “misconception” as the “framers of the constitution made provision in unambiguous language for the holding of elections before the expiration of the specified term of office.” (Article 18 states the: “Political Leader shall hold Office for three (3) years. All other elected National Executive Officers shall hold Office for two (2) years. They shall hold Office until successors to their offices have been elected unless they resign or are removed from office prior to the expiry of their tenure or their offices otherwise become vacant for any cause.”)
The letter also noted that it was the natex which had the authority to propose the holding of internal elections which would then be submitted to the national congress for approval.
However, Singh countered in another letter dated October 28 and sent to UNC general secretary Dave Tancoo that the natex had set the date for the internal election before consulting with the national congress.
“I would suggest Mr General Secretary that for the natex to make a final decision and publish same in the press and then go to the national congress for approval is procedurally incorrect, improper, discourteous and, most importantly, a breach of the wording and the spirit of the party’s constitution,” Singh wrote.
He said no agenda had been circulated regarding the national congress meeting which is scheduled to be held on October 31 at the Shiva Boys Hindu College, Clarke road Penal from 5 pm.
“I would also suggest that it is illegal and in breach of our constitution for the national congress to be used as a rubber stamp for a final decision already and long before made by the natex and informed to the membership and the national community.
“In the circumstances, Mr General Secretary, I would, in the interest of the party and by extension the nation, humbly and respectfully ask that good sense prevails and that the natex and the political leader abort this ill-conceived attempt to have the leadership election called in this manner.
“The leadership of our party is too important an issue to us all.”