Jack: I have evidence against PNM, it’s too late to apologise
ILP candidate for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Jack Warner (right) and Political Leader of the ILP, Rekha Ramjit (left)
Updated at 4.30 pm on July 17:
The Independent Liberal Party’s (ILP) candidate for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Jack Warner said he has evidence of corruption against the People’s National Movement (PNM), but doesn’t find it prudent enough to take it to the police.
“No, I have not taken it to the police because at the end of the day, I need much more than that to take it to the police. What I have is enough for me, however.
“I don’t think it’s prudent to do that and you have to respect my opinion. I don’t think it’s prudent to do that, especially at this stage,” he said.
He was speaking in a media conference earlier today, where he announced his candidacy.
After revealing that he had been working with the sitting Prime Minister during the lead up to the September 7 general election in 2015, Warner said he had done things he now regrets.
The former Minister of National Security says he’s open to holding talks with UNC’s Political Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, but does not have the same patience for PNM Political Leader, Dr Keith Rowley. He says if votes are split and he holds the deadlock seat, he’ll have a lot to think about.
“If the vote is 20/20/1, I will consult with my executive to decide what the next step should be,” he said.
Among the allegations are that he was asked to use the Sunshine newspaper to run a smear campaign against the UNC’s Vasant Bharath.
Bharath was contesting the marginal St Joseph seat at the time against the PNM’s Terrence Deyalsingh. Warner says they also agreed to have the ILP withdraw their candidate in an effort to aid in Deyalsingh’s success.
Warner says his real grouse lies in Dr Rowley’s failure to keep his promises. Citing crime and quality of life in T&T, he says he’s had enough.
“Needless to say, not one of Dr Rowley’s promises was kept and over the last five years, I have watched as T&T has become worse off rather than better,” he said.
Warner’s last straw came when the PNM selected Marvin Gonzales as their candidate for Lopinot/Bon Air West.
“He is a rank outsider from Maraval (I believe) whom the PNM has parachuted in Lopinot/Bon Air West. Do you mean to say that in a constituency of over 25,000 persons, the PNM could not have found one candidate to represent us?” he questioned.
Leveling allegations against the UNC’s candidate in the area Prakash Williams, Warner revealed that he actually paid for his now opponent’s 2007 campaign. He said he has since retracted his support for Williams.
Addressing his ongoing legal matters in the United States, Warner said he has no fear that he will be vindicated, adding that the allegations against him are just that.
The lone ILP candidate said his marathon campaign will begin with a walkabout at 9 am on Saturday. He says while constituents should not expect any gifts, jerseys or trinkets from him, he will ensure their needs are met.
Original Story posted at 3 pm on July 17:
Former Political Leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner has officially returned to active politics.
He filed his nomination papers today, making him an official candidate for the constituency of Lopinot/Bon Air West.
This is the only seat that the ILP will be considering in this year's General Election, but even so, he said he’s not going down without a fight.
“In my life, I have never done anything without winning and that includes this election. You will see the campaign of your life,” he said.
Speaking after filing his papers, Warner explained why he felt the need to return.
"I had been given certain promises by Dr Rowley prior to the election when I secretly worked with him and not one of those has been fulfilled and to tell you the truth, I could have possibly taken it but when I see he brought a candidate from Maraval to Lopinot/Bon Air West as their candidate, I said ‘enough is enough’,” he explained.
He promised to reveal more at a press conference later today.
We’ll update this story as more information is revealed.