Ramdial: Why did Kamla reject me for election?

FILE PHOTO: Then Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial, centre seems secure next to UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar during a Monday Night Forum meeting at the party's Couva South Office back in October 2018. Ramdial has since been replaced by Ravi Ratiram in Parliament after she was not selected by her party to run for the seat in the August 10, 2020 general election. Others in the photo are, from left, Henry Awong, Rudranath Indarsingh, Roodal Moonilal and Barry Padarath. -
FILE PHOTO: Then Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial, centre seems secure next to UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar during a Monday Night Forum meeting at the party's Couva South Office back in October 2018. Ramdial has since been replaced by Ravi Ratiram in Parliament after she was not selected by her party to run for the seat in the August 10, 2020 general election. Others in the photo are, from left, Henry Awong, Rudranath Indarsingh, Roodal Moonilal and Barry Padarath. -

FORMER Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial cast doubt on the character of elected opposition members as she sought clarification of her rejection as a candidate in the 2020 general election.

Mounting a virtual political platform in support of Vasant Barath, who is aspiring to lead the United National Congress (UNC), Ramdial indirectly suggested that some of the candidates may have criminal ties and be engaged in corruption.

She said she is a woman of principle and her integrity is intact.

Saying she was “wronged” by the “mother of the UNC,” Ramdial spoke of the great sacrifices she made in support of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar by leaving her teaching job to take up an uncertain political career.

After ten years in both government and opposition, she wondered aloud why she was sidelined this year in favour of less worthy candidates.

“My screening was a sham. Was I rejected because I didn’t have the necessary baggage of corruption allegations, like many of the general-election 2020 candidates?"she asked as she launched her first salvo.

She said Persad-Bissessar’s line of defence to such allegations was, “Take it to the police.”

Ramdial then fired off a barrage of questions.

“Was I rejected because I didn’t overexpose myself on social media in photos and videos?

“Was I rejected because I didn’t have criminal links to persons in jail?

“Was I rejected because I, at the age of 41, with ten years' experience
in government and opposition, was no longer attractive to the voting population?”

Newsday tried to get a response from deputy political leader David Lee via a WhatsApp message. Up until press time he had not responded.

Appealing to the wider membership, Ramdial said Persad-Bissessar had served the party well, taking it to government in 2010.

“Thereafter, it has been a series of losses for the UNC – 11 and counting, with two local government and two general elections.”

When Ramdial was not selected, she said, the political leader promised her a senate seat and asked her to trust her decision

“I did, thinking a win would vindicate her. Sadly, this was not so.”

She said she is of the firm opinion: “There is no way the honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar can win another general election.”

She said like the party’s founder and former prime minister Basdeo Panday in 2010, “Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2020 is no longer the answer for the UNC.”

Professing love and respect for Persad-Bissessar and describing her as a “good mother,” Ramdial said a good mother who cares for her children would always provide them with the best tools to survive.

“So, Mother Kamla Persad-Bissessar, I humbly ask you to give us the tools we, the children of the UNC, need. Give us a free and fair election. Give us a copy of the member listing. Also, don’t intimidate potential candidates, causing them to withdraw.

“Give your party a chance to win again. The people of TT deserve a better government.”

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