Larry Lalla tells Kamla: Make way for someone else
Attorney-at-law Larry Lalla has sought to inspire members of the United National Congress (UNC) to vote for Vasant Bharath who is contesting the party's leadership in internal elections set for December 6.
Lalla was speaking during the first Virtual Unity Platform put on by Bharath and his supporters on Wednesday night.
The lawyer praised the incumbent Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for her service but said the time had come for her to pave the way for better leadership.
“Succession is natural and it is good. Succession gives new excitement, brings new talent, opens the mind to a new way of doing things and succession brings success.”
He reminded that former Prime Minister and UNC leader Basdeo Panday was forced to step down after losing against Persad-Bissessar in 2010. However, Lalla said this was not a stain on his character as he remains loved by nationals across the political divide.
He said the change in leadership brought unity within the Congress of the People, Tobago Organisation of the People, National Joint Action Committee and Movement for Social Justice which led to a People’s Partnership coalition government.
According to the attorney, like Panday, Persad-Bissessar is also loved by her supporters. Though, he expressed disbelief that she could continue to lead the party successfully. Shying away from ripping too deep into the Opposition Leader, he said she was simply unable to rebuild team UNC.
“After that win in 2010, we have seen a constant slide in the fortunes of the party and we have suffered loss after loss.”
Meanwhile, he said the UNC was shattered, with no permanent home (head office). Lalla added that incompetence was rampant as he referenced the latest blunder where a congratulatory speech to US President-elect Joe Biden, posted to Persad-Bissessar’s Facebook page last weekend, was discovered to have been plagiarised from UK Labour Leader Keir Starmer.
Furthermore, the attorney said the August 10 general election was lost as a result of the poor selection of candidates and “disastrous” advertisements deemed racist by members of the public.
“Much like the time that had come for [cricketers] Sir Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards and our beloved Mr [Basdeo] Panday, the time has also come for our beloved and revered Mrs Persad-Bissessar. And of course, she does not want to give up but that is normal and expected and she must not be chastised for it. In her mind, she probably feels that we will be disappointed in her if she gave up.”
“Sometimes strong leaders need strong followers to tell them what their time has unfortunately come. The time has come for us to be strong and to say: Mrs Persad-Bissessar, thanks for all that you have done for our party and our country. We love you and because of that love we have for you, we realise that your time has come for you to play a different role in our party.”
He ended by urging viewers to vote for Bharath who also contested the UNC’s internal election in 2015 and lost.