Better United partner decides better apart

TT Democratic Front political leader Anthony Williams.
TT Democratic Front political leader Anthony Williams.

THE TT Democratic Front (TTDF) has parted ways with the Better United coalition of parties and candidates.

TTDF leader Anthony Williams told Newsday in a phone interview onn Wednesday that he will be contesting the Point Fortin seat alone.

The remaining Better United members are the Democratic Party of TT (DPTT) led by Steve Alvarez, who is contesting the Moruga/Tableland seat; Congress of the People (COP), led by Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, which is contesting four seats' Port of Spain Peoples Movement, led by Louis Lee Sing which is not contesting any seats; and independent candidate for St Joseph Errol Fabien.

The New National Vision led by Fuad Abu Bakr was a member, but he was removed after he unsuccessfully sought to become a People's National Movement candidate.

Asked his reasons for the split, Williams said that the connection just was not "clicking."

"Most people (in the group) had different values and views about what was best for the citizens of TT. Most people were more on policies than actually doing things for the citizens of TT."

He claimed there was more focus on constitutional and local government reform than on employment opportunities for the youth population. He stressed that young people must be the driving force for things to change in terms of better living wages, innovative opportunities, and raising the standard of living for citizens and the financial status of communities and country.

Williams, 45, also claimed that when the younger members of Better United put out ideas, there was a lot of "head-butting."

"A coalition is a good thing, but you have to lift your minds another level. In TT when parties come together, one wants more than one, and then everything falls apart."

Asked about the split Alvarez said he did not know that TTDF had left th group.

"There was never anything official."

He said that for Better United one of the most important aspects is to put governance in the hands of communities rather than a few.

"Through a simple majority in Parliament, we will insist there is local government reform, so people in communities have a say in the way their communities are developed. That responsibility is not something that will go down well in a culture where we vote for 'a king' and expect handouts."

He stressed the coalition was not into handouts but was about creating opportunities so that people can rebuild their lives and communities and build a stronger nation.

He said young people have to get away from the culture of dependence.

"And it is a very difficult thing to fight. You listen to the campaigns of both the PNM and UNC as well as other parties, and they promise handouts. More jobs, give you this and that. Young people getting into a culture of dependence, whether money in a jersey or whatever. We are saying to young people, we are giving you the opportunity to be responsible adults."

Alvarez said in this election there are people doing everything possible to get into office, including using music trucks and busloads of people, because they want to get something out of office.

"We in Better United, especially the DPTT, want to give something to politics – new opportunities, new ideas, wealth. We don't want anything from politics."


"Better United partner decides better apart"

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