THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) said the country is experiencing a watershed moment for the first time in probably 30 years as political gurus are calculating the possibility that a third party may really enter the Parliament.
Ernesto Kesar, the MSJ candidate contesting the Point Fortin seat, said at the first of three virtual campaign meetings on Tuesday night that pollsters, statisticians and technocrats are all counting the possibility of a third force.
He said he was encouraged, “as they have given my political leader, David Abdulah, a 19 per cent rating as among the best leaders and he only running five seats.
“Normally they would give him three and five and seven per cent ratings,” Kesar said as he called on voters to prove the pollsters right and put their “X” by the scales of justice, which is the MSJ’s symbol.
There are 19 political parties, fielding 150 candidates, in the August 10 election race. The People’s National Movement (PNM) is the only party contesting all 41 constituencies both in Trinidad and in Tobago. The United National Congress (UNC) has put up 39 candidates, excluding Tobago.
The MSJ is fielding five candidates, in Point Fortin, La Brea, Fyzabad, Pointe-a-Pierre and Diego Martin Central.
Kesar said the MSJ wants to create a balance in the Parliament as people have had enough of the red and the yellow, referencing the PNM and UNC.
He said it is time to revisit the way the Parliament is configured, ruling out a coalition, which he said has not worked in TT.
“There must be more voices in the Parliament,” he advanced.
Abdulah, who spoke in support of Kesar and Marlon Greaves, the candidate for La Brea, said the ten-year-old MSJ is the only party that has survived for eight years (after withdrawing from the PP in 2012) without being in central or local government.
“So therefore we have no access to state resources for patronage to fool the people with all kinds of things. We are the only political party able to grow for the past eight years without any state access to resources because we rest our cause on the power of truth. We rest our case on the principles of social justice, and that is what is resonating in the hearts and minds of the people of TT.”
Abdulah said there is too much injustice, too much wrongdoing, too much discrimination and a lack of fairness in the country.
“A few people have plenty and plenty people have little or nothing. We have to create a balance,” he said, between the red and yellow parties.
Abdulah said he understands the political culture of people who because of tradition are embedded in either the red or yellow parties, and cannot make the giant leap to the other side.
He said the MSJ was providing an alternative: instead of trying to cross the big river between the red and the yellow, to take a smaller forward step to the blue, his party’s colour.