By Renee Olivel and Carolyn Kissoon, Newsday
Member of Parliament for St Augustine and Chairman of the United National Congress (UNC) Campaign Committee Gerald Yetming has confirmed reports that the Citizens Alliance (CA) and the UNC were having talks of joining forces.
"All parties with a common goal need to come together," Yetming told Sunday Newsday, yesterday.
Yetming was responding to reports that CA, led by Wendell Mottley and the UNC, led by Basdeo Panday were seeking an alliance in their bid to contest the October general elections.
According to reports, UNC's financiers believed that the party cannot win under Panday's leadership and were calling for the UNC's alliance "with other forces".
Speaking with Sunday Newsday, however, Team Unity political leader and former UNC minister Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj said that he does not foresee a merging of the two parties.
"I do not think that Mr Panday would deliver the UNC to Mr Mottley. I don't believe that the members of the UNC would agree with that," Maharaj said.
"I know that some of the financiers believe that Mr Mottley could make a difference but the ground support for Mr Mottley is non-existent and I think that Mr Panday as an astute politician should see that there is no asset in bringing Mr Mottley in."
One of TU's founding members Trevor Sudama said that he has "heard that Mr Panday wants to hand over leadership to Mr Mottley and that there is a deal, but that is all in the grapevines".
He said all that he knows comes from reading the newspapers.
Sudama said he was uncertain as to how the public will view the alliance and that of Mottley's credibility.
He said: "Mr Mottley does not have a base and if he wants to make an impact he needs to have a base. The UNC is desperate to attract the non-Indian support and hence his reason for the alliance."
He said that TU has set out its course, what it stands for and the role it intends to play in politics.
"We will wait and watch the political scenario. We are merely looking on," he added.
Political leader of the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) Lennox Sankersingh said that any union between the two groups would result in the country being plunged into a state of hopelessness.
Sankersingh slammed Mottley for even considering the alliance and said that the move would be a "lack of vision on the part of Mottley". He adamantly stated that UNC supporters will never accept Mottley as their leader.
However, Sankersingh said that his party is open for talks with Mottley or any other party as they attempt to rid the country of the two older political parties, PNM and UNC, and place them into oblivion.
Sankersingh advised that if the UNC expects to win votes in the next general elections, they should reconstruct and reform the party into a meaningful organisation.
"Panday should consider retiring gracefully and allow the country to go forward," he said.
When Sunday Newsday contacted CA's political leader Wendell Mottley he refused to comment on the issue.
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