UNC founder Basdeo Panday on Tuesday predicted the party he founded on April 30, 1989, has no future, regardless of who wins its internal elections on December 6. He predicted the UNC will inevitably die a natural political death.
Asked about the chances of incumbent leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar retaining her post or former minister Vasant Bharath replacing her as party leader, Panday said, "First of all, I don't think about it because it doesn't matter. It is six of one and half a dozen of the other."
He reiterated, "The thing that calls itself the UNC is not the party that was created out of the struggles of Club 88."
Panday recalled the original UNC had a vision and knew where it was going.
"In its first term in government it performed almost miracles.
"But the present UNC has no vision of the society. It doesn't know where it's going."
Against this background, Panday opined, "So I don't think those elections matter one way or the other, in so far as the progress of the country is concerned."
He also said the perception that the UNC-led People's Partnership coalition government "has the reputation of being the most corrupt government that the country has seen for a long time" continues to haunt the UNC.
"The country certainly needs at this time, a breath of fresh air and the Patriotic Front (PF) will provide it."
The PF is led by Panday's daughter Mickela, a former Oropouche West MP.
Since the August 10 general election, Panday continued, the PF is laying the foundations "in order to begin their campaign when all this brouhaha and all this nonsense that is taking place is over."
He declared, "I think once something genuine comes upon the scene, this thing that calls itself the UNC will die a natural death."
On July 14, Mickela Panday announced the PF's withdrawal from the August 10 election, saying there was insufficient time to prepare. She said the PF's campaign would begin after the election.
On Tuesday, Bharath said Persad-Bissessar has not responded as yet to his request for a meeting to discuss concerns about the election.
He added, "I will continue to seek dialogue with Kamla Persad-Bissessar so as to minimise the negative perceptions being perpetuated in the public domain.
He reiterated his concern that Persad-Bissessar continues to use the UNC's Virtual Report forum to campaign for herself.
"I have publicly said that Kamla Persad-Bissessar is using party funds to campaign."
Bharath said this is why in the Westminster system of politics, which TT follows, a party's leader normally resigns after suffering an election defeat.
Bharath also claimed Persad-Bissessar's campaign team is canvassing UNC members through texts, e-mails and telephone calls. He said this indicates it isusing the UNC's membership list, which he is not privy to.
"I continue to warn the party of the negative perceptions being created and the continued loss of trust by the general population in the current UNC."