Saturday 18 November, 2017

Vasant challenges Kamla to televised debate

United National Congress (UNC) leadership hopeful Vasant Bharath has challenged incumbent leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to a televised debate to discuss, among other issues, plans for the rebuilding of the party and the country.

In the event of the UNC leader’s schedule does not permit for a televised debate, Bharath said he would be happy to examine these critical issues at the next Monday Night Forum carded to be held at St Helena Hindu Primary School next Monday.

Bharath, in a letter to the party’s General Secretary, took up Persad-Bissessar’s challenge issued at a Monday Night Forum meeting in Couva to go ‘manos to manos’ as the party’s leadership race heats up.

Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein has also thrown her hat into the leadership race.

The election is due to take place November 26.

Laying out his argument for the televised debate, Bharath said the People’s Partnership government suffered five successive defeats sat the polls: the THA election, the Chaguanas By-Election, the loss of five Regional Corporations, the St. Joseph By-Election and the General Election of 2015.

He said these blows paved the way for the People’s National Movement (PNM) to “assume the corridors of power that even they may not have thought possible a few months prior”.

Bharath said, however, that the current administration has proven itself to be one of the most incompetent, corrupt, arrogant and highhanded regimes that the country has ever experienced; which is why it is critical that the party readies itself to remove the PNM at the appropriate time.

He proposed debate on the following points, adding that he was open to debate any other matters considered relevant to the development of the party and progress of the nation:

1. Plans for rebuilding the UNC as a national party and regaining public trust

2. Lessons learnt from having suffered five successive national defeats and converting that knowledge into victory at the next election

3. Engaging other political participants outside of the UNC base, in a sincere, meaningful and sustainable way

4. Plans for restructuring the Trinidad and Tobago economy to combat the various economic and social issues facing us

Persad-Bissessar’s challenger ended by requesting an urgent response to allow him to make the necessary preparations.