THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is one of seven political parties contesting Monday’s local government election.
The party which was birthed from the labour movement is fielding some 28 candidates in seven of the 14 regional corporations.
However, MSJ leader David Abdulah will not be voting because the MSJ does not have a candidate for any district under the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, including the area where he lives.
MSJ candidates will vie for positions in Diego Martin (four), Siparia (five), San Juan/Laventille (five), San Fernando (five), Princes Town (one), Point Fortin (six) and Arima (two) corporations.
A total of 339 candidates, including eight independents, representing the People’s National Movement (PNM), the United National Congress (UNC), Movement for National Development (MND), Port of Spain People’s Movement (PPM), National Transformation Party (NTP), Congress of the People (COP) and the MSJ will be contesting 139 districts up for grabs in the election.
The PNM and UNC are the only two parties contesting all the districts.
At the MSJ’s last public meeting in Marabella, on Wednesday, Abdulah said even though their numbers in Monday’s election are few, there is a movement taking place in TT where people are saying they are fed up with the red and the yellow parties and want change.
He said the party intends to contest all seats in the 2020 general elections.
“They (PNM) tried all kinds of things from 1981 when Dr Eric Williams died. George Chambers became the prime minister for the first time in 25 years and we had a new PM. That did not work. The PNM and Chambers were voted out in 1986 and ANR Robinson was brought in. Robinson and the NAR, that fell apart and then came the new leader of the PNM in Patrick Manning and then Manning started to lose his way, firing people by fax. Then came Basdeo Panday in an alliance with Robinson and when the Robinson and Panday government fell apart, Manning came back.”
He said this give rise to Kamla Persad-Bissessar, “and the UNC within the People’s Partnership and the partnership turned their backs on the people, reneged on all the promises and commitments that were made and the MSJ left the PP marking the beginning of the end of that partnership.
“So we tried all kinds of things, with (the Prime Minister) Rowley the new leader of the PNM spitting fire and brimstone on the platform talking about corruption and how the PNM would deal with corruption. Four years have passed and not one single person has been brought to book for corruption under the UNC.
Abdulah said he met with Rowley in September 2015 urging him to treat with corruption by appointing a special prosecutor.
“He said yes, and Ramesh Maharaj and John Jeremie, two former attorneys general, one UNC and one PNM, one Indian and one African, volunteered to be special prosecutors but nothing was done.
“And now they (PNM) come back in this election again saying the same damn thing.”