FORMER government minister Herbert Volney is asking Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who is she calling to "stand together." Volney, who served as justice minister in Persad-Bissessar's former government, posed this question on his Facebook page ahead of the UNC's congress in Couva on Sunday.
Volney claimed that after four years as Opposition Leader, Persad-Bissessar is "cornered into calling upon her base to stand together." He further alleged that Persad-Bissessar had failed to coalesce anti-PNM voters in the way the People's Partnership coalition did before it won the May 24, 2010 general election.
According to Volney, the UNC lost some of its traditional race-based support to the PNM and unaligned voting bloc.
"To base a proposed electoral victory on the Indian vote is to fly in the face of reality," he said. Volney claimed Persad-Bissessar no longer had former minister Jack Warner or any other proven political pundits and strategists in her war room.
He said Persad-Bissessar was instead being advised by "a bunch of unproven kids whom she has vested in senatorial and executive party positions."
Volney claimed all they told her was that the "Empress looks good and she can win with her eyes closed."
He also said Persad-Bissessar's public declaration that the UNC would form no alliance with any political party had not helped its cause to regain power next year. Volney said the strategy to ride on the back of disenchanted voters and sell the UNC as "the lesser of two evils" would not work.
He also claimed the only two areas along the East West Corridor where the UNC had any significant support was in Pasea and Aranguez.
"It was good enough to elect (Prakash) Ramadhar in St Augustine but not enough in St Joseph," Volney said.
"Word on the ground is that Fuad Khan is in trouble in Barataria/San Juan."
Most voters, Volney continued, do not see the PNM as being a successful government but continue to have "gaping trust issues" with the UNC because of the maladministration under its watch from 2010 to 2015.
Reiterating his view that a straight electoral fight between the PNM and UNC will result in a PNM win in 2020, Volney said, "I am on the emerging side that will see plural first past the post support for independent, good third-choice-candidate victories nationwide."