UNC wracked by internal strife

By Renuka Singh
November 28, 2015 – guardian.co.tt

United National CongressFresh internal conflict is threatening to break the United National Congress (UNC) apart in the build up to internal elections. With just days to go before the party elects its leader, the mostly clean campaign has suddenly turned nasty as one would-be deputy leader was threatened for taking sides against incumbent Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The Sunday Guardian has learned that former sport minister Brent Sancho aligned himself with challenger Vasant Bharath’s Team Reconnect and was immediately “threatened with exposure” by Persad-Bissessar’s team.

Sancho, the Sunday Guardian is told, quickly withdrew his candidacy bid and has since left the country.

“I have been told that he would return after the internal election,” one UNC insider said.

With the rumour mill in overdrive, no one wanted to officially comment on what Persad-Bissessar’s team was allegedly holding over Sancho’s head.

Another insider close to Sancho, however, directed the Sunday Guardian to the September 2 issue of The Sunshine newspaper, a weekly publication owned by former government minister Jack Warner. The only story Warner’s publication ran on Sancho that month was his alleged involvement in an adult tape.

Sancho could not be reached for comment but texted the newspaper that he was “in a meeting” and therefore could not talk.

A Team Reconnect insider confirmed that Sancho made an application to be on Bharath’s slate in the capacity of deputy political leader. He confirmed also that Sancho left the country and indicated that he would return only after the December 5 election.

Meanwhile, Persad-Bissessar denied any involvement in the alleged threat against Sancho.

“I cannot confirm that. Sancho is the best person to ask about that wouldn’t you say?” Persad-Bissessar said in a telephone interview.

“I did not even know Sancho was on Vasant’s team. I do not think I have that kind of power that my displeasure could force someone to withdraw from that team,” Persad-Bissessar said.

With regards to the internal election, Persad-Bissessar said she was “confident” of a victory because she still maintained a healthy ground support from the UNC.

Persad-Bissessar admitted that the party was disjointed now in the last days leading up to the election, but she did not feel that that would last long. She is currently campaigning against deputy political leader Dr Roodal Moonilal and former minister Vasant Bharath.

Persad-Bissessar said in the 2010 internal elections, neither Moonilal nor Bharath campaigned on her slate.

“Vasant even refused to sign the letter to the President to support me for Opposition Leader but after that the party has come together and we won the general election,” she said.

“Yes it is a challenge, but I have a solid track record working in my favour, I was challenged before and no challenge is insurmountable,” she said.

Meanwhile, both challengers, Moonilal and Bharath, have also confirmed that there has been heated infighting.

Bharath accused Moonilal of “clutching at straws” in an attempt to undermine his campaign.

“I think he (Moonilal) sees that he does not have the support he believed he would have and as the party founder said, he is irrelevant,” Bharath said.

He said Moonilal’s sudden attack on him proved that Moonilal’s own campaign was fragile.

“He seems to be building his case to return to the Persad-Bissessar camp because I believe he recognises that he cannot win,” Bharath said.

“He seems to be looking for a home and is trying to engender some sort of sympathy from the Persad-Bissessar camp,” Bharath added.

Meanwhile, Moonilal is focused on ramping up his campaign in the last days before the election. He said there have been no threats made against him or his team by anyone.

“I think you have to be very strong to try and threaten me, I am not easily threatened,” Moonilal said.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-11-28/unc-wracked-internal-strife

4 Responses to “UNC wracked by internal strife”


  • Normal thing in politics, but I think the party has grown and matured enough to know that there can only be one leader of the UNC at a time. As soon as that leader is chosen all bickering stop and all rally and support that leader. Each leader bring a personal and unique leadership style to table. Sometimes that style may not be compatible with everyone but all of that does not matter because there is the PNM to defeat.

  • All who have eyes to see, and all who have ears to hear….this woman, who just demitted office less than three months ago, when questioned on an issue of her or her team allegedly being involved in BLACKMAIL, her response : “…I don’t think…” “..I did not even know..”…your former PM for 5 years, 3months..

    • Hi Alyssa,

      I hear what you are saying. However, please bear in mind that in spite of all of the Partnership’s mistakes in office, it still managed to win eighteen seats in the recently concluded General Election.

      It is plain to see that when the rubber hits the road, the UNC will be always be able to rally its base in elections despite any incompetence in governing. Of course, the narrative of the racist, pro-African PNM will persist even though this is a nauseating and vile untruth. However, some folks seem to have no problem in interpreting historical events creatively.

      If the UNC were to regain power, this will spell doom for the PNM electoral base in this country. Given the entrenched and unapologetic tribal proclivities of the UNC and its faithful, it will be a grim and tragic day in Trinidad and Tobago history if this is to occur.

      • Ummmm triniamerican…”PNM electoral base”??? Love….that is a dangerous eupheumism that we can no longer muttle…YOU MEAN AFRICAN PEOPLE!….will be bumped into the sea!…Did you notice the VIGOUR they have post september 7th? They realized that they can literally get away with murder (D.S.) and the indian community will support them!!…and of course the self hating negroes & racist (Local) whites!…this is not even an exaggeration…and what is also clear is thT 2010-2015 made evident that there are only two possible election outcomes…PNM & UNC in dizguise!….whetether we like this or not….that is the reality their are only two choices….the indian community willl latch on to whichever party their leaders are in charge of Overtly or covertly….

        Trini i hope you check out my links below (several)

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