The trinidad Guardian / Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the national executive is acting lawfully regarding the decision to hold the election for the post of political leader a year before it is due.
Speaking to the media while visiting flood-hit victims in El Socorro, Persad-Bissessar responded to Singh’s letter of complaint to the UNC in which he accused the National Executive (NATEX) of acting “ultra vires” Article 18 of the Constitution.
Persad-Bissessar laughed at the complaint suggesting “I think Ganga Singh may want to get himself a good lawyer. We are acting within the provisions of the constitution. The election will be a valid one when held. Ganga needs a better lawyer than he is.”
She said, “it is ludicrous, it is a totally ludicrous kind of argument that is being put forward.”
Persad-Bissessar said under the country’s Constitution “a Prime Minister has an election constitutionally due every five years but, a prime minister can call a national election, a snap election, anytime. Are you then telling me an Opposition Leader cannot call a sooner election for an Opposition political party? That is ludicrous.”
She said there are some who may not want her to win but confidently forecast “I have no doubt that I will win the party’s election and perhaps there are some who are trying to stop that.”
Asked why she felt the need to have the election a year earlier, she said that the decision was taken because of what she expected would be a busy election period ahead both at the local government and national level.
She said in El Socorro there could be a by-election where a councillor passed away.
Having the leadership election early, she said, “gives the party a chance to put in place a new executive that will take the party forward without the kind of division and bitterness that arises every time there is an internal election because you have conflicting factions who all want to try.”
The Opposition Leader said with the internal and leadership election out of the way the party could then “concentrate on what is the most important thing, which is to win whichever election is called, whenever it is called and remove this incompetent, wicked government out of office. That is my goal.”
She said she did not care about “this position or that position, what I care about is the country and serving the country and that is my goal and that is my aim I will continue to serve the country in the best way that I can.”
She blasted Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who left the country yesterday to attend a Caricom/Mexico Summit on Disaster Preparedness saying “this is the worst flooding I have seen in this country since I was small growing up and there is the PM? He has abandoned the country as the state agencies have abandoned the country.”
She thanked citizens across the country whom she said: “have really come forward to do charity work that is a great thing, even greater at a time when the government and state agencies have abandoned the people.”
She said in the last two years the government had done little to deal with issues of clearing drains and flood prevention. “I believe all communities are being neglected,” she said.