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Thursday 23 May 2019
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UNC call to unity

Kamla to rally supporters for local, general elections

UNC supporters at a political meeting in Chaguanas in 2016. FILE PHOTO
UNC supporters at a political meeting in Chaguanas in 2016. FILE PHOTO

A unity call, possible announcements about the upcoming local government and general election and a discussion about the way forward for TT, if she returns to office as prime minister, are expected to be among the highlights of United National Congress (UNC) political leader’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s address, today, at the party’s National Assembly in Couva.

UNC deputy political leader David Lee told Sunday Newsday a call would more than likely be made for unity.

“I don’t think, fundamentally, we all agree about unity and the Opposition Leader has said so. But when we say unity call, members of the UNC wherever they are, are welcomed to come.”

Even so, Lee said questions have arisen about the call for unity in the context of different political parties, "where we may not know what their political ideologies and thinking are at this point in time, which might differ from the view and the vision of the UNC.”

He added: “But really and truly we are happy with what we are seeing out there. It is a call for unity within the UNC to have discussions with all different coalitions, bodies and organisations, which augurs well because what it says to us is that these individuals see that there will be a regime change in the next general elections.”

He claimed gestures were not being made for a coalition arrangement with the ruling People's National Movement (PNM).

“People are not calling to meet with the PNM. They are calling to meet with the UNC. So, maybe, it augurs well for us as a party that maybe they see the United National Congress as the only legitimate party that will go back into government. So, we are happy with all these united calls to line up with the UNC.”

Last December, Independent Liberal Party founder Jack Warner, at an event in the Chaguanas West constituency, extended an invitation for former UNC political leader Basdeo Panday to join forces with him to fight what he called “the common enemy.”

Warner, at that time, did not identify the “common enemy.”

Lee said people will be “very pleasantly surprised” by the statements which will be made about the local government and general election.

“One can expect some critical dates to be announced. So, I don’t want to pre-empt her but come down and you will be surprised.”

Asked if the UNC was in campaign mode, he said: “The UNC has always been and especially in the last 12 months and moving forward for any election that is called, whether it is this year or next year. From the point of view of a political party, we are always ready for elections.”

Pressed on whether the UNC was reviewing any potential candidates, Lee would only say: “I would not want to pre-empt the political leader’s speech.”.

The Point-a-Pierre MP said the UNC leader also was deeply concerned about crime, the ongoing socio-political turmoil in neighbouring Venezuela and the economy.

“Presently, given what is happening next door, there is no clear foreign policy given by this country at this point in time.”

Lee said the economy was in a state of depression, evidenced by what he claimed was the lack of direct foreign investment over the past three and a half years.

The National Assembly, which is being held at the Couva South Recreational Hall, Campden Road, is scheduled to begin at 2 pm. Persad-Bissessar is expected to address the party’s faithful at 4 pm.

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