UNC Blanks 16,000 Members

Basdeo Panday, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj
Basdeo Panday, Kamla Persad-Bissessar & Ramesh Maharaj

By Invera Arjoon
January 07, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

THE applications of 16,000 persons for membership to the United National Congress (UNC) will not be approved in time for the January 24 internal elections of the party, chairman of the party’s Membership Committee Kelvin Ramnath said yesterday.

He added that the applicants’ membership forms will be processed at a later date and if accepted they will be eligible to vote in subsequent elections. Ramnath, the Couva South MP, said the party did not expect so many applications and time simply would not have allowed for the review and processing of the applicants.

The list which is now being used for the elections, comprises 34,000 names processed from 2006 to November 29 (which was the party’s National Assembly) and was made available to all constituency offices yesterday.

When asked late yesterday evening if all constituency offices had collected the list Ramnath said “a couple of them but they have all been informed to pick up their compact discs.” The period for objections and corrections will be from January 7 to 10 and a final list would be completed on January 15, Ramnath said. However the change of dates would not have an effect on nomination day which remains January 11. Some members of the National Executive met yesterday at the party’s Rienzi Complex Headquarters where Ramnath said the Membership Committee made the recommendation to the National Executive to stay the processing of the 16,000 membership applications and approve the old list.

At Rienzi Complex, political leader Basdeo Panday, Senate Minority Leader Wade Mark, Caroni East MP Tim Gopeesingh, Opposition Chief Whip Hamza Rafeeq, St Augustine MP Vasant Bharath and Oropouche West and Oropouche East MPs Mickela Panday and Roodal Moonilal were present.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

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13 thoughts on “UNC Blanks 16,000 Members”

  1. I see how hard the UNC is striving to get new supporters. They are insulting themselves for internal elections without thinking about their image with respect to national elections. Still, the close race has drawn a lot of media attention. I don’t think the party has ever had this much exposure. If only the fools were sensible enough to use it to promote themselves rather than demonstrate that they are more divided than ever before. Perhaps Dookie and his lackeys were the wisest thing to come out of that party.

  2. I am going to make a comment on the futile charade that our local political comedians on both side of the so called divide ,frequently enjoy putting on for the benefits of gullible , confused , and desperate voting fans. The analogy might get the rabid ultra feminist gurus all riled up , but what’s new , and who cares about a group that can dare to conclude that all sex between consenting males and a females should be viewed as rape?
    I think of the 1.3 million eligible voting citizens as an abused woman locked in a seemingly never ending ,disastrous, dysfunctional, and pointless relationship. For the dense ,or folks from Saturn and Jupiter,this would translate to the PNM.
    The UNC multi headed monster in contrast,is like the typical sharp talking , snake oil salesman , that exudes lots of hot air, but very little of substance underneath their lofty change message mantra.
    Unbeknownst to the psychologically battered woman that’s eager for better treatment, this proposed new lover , has numerous neglected kids,and needs therapy for repeated spousal abuse to a long list of women that fell prey to past political charm through the decades.
    Talk about a rock and a hard place!
    It is therefore not too surprising that some of those citizens not fortunate to hop on a plane to make Canada , Sweden , Ireland , and Norte Americana their home ,may choose to adopt the option favored by most battered women in saying hey,”if better can’t be done, let the worst continue.”
    But wait a second , there is another alternative I believe. In the past, we outsourced our police service with Scotland Yard blokes ,as well as Canadian and Yankee so called experts. In addition, our construction industry is dependent on Chinese. Without Cubans and Nigerians or health service would diminish overnight, as our local doctors are pronouncing people dead when they are still alive in San Fernando Hospital. To prevent Trinis from starving , high end politicos are trying to encourage our Guyanese recently arrived immigrants to not solely be interested in becoming Charlotte and George Street vendors, but to take up the slack in the agricultural sector left by nuvo rich emigrating local elite farmers.
    In short , every sector of worth in our country is dependent on foreigners for survival , because we either have so little faith in anything local , or relish all that’s foreign. I say, why end there, we can also import some political saviors from abroad as well to steady the ship of state, agreed?

  3. ‘It is said , and I tend to agree, that ‘night could run as much as it want , but eventually the day would inevitably catch up with it.’ Even the politically blind could have foreseen this coming. Watch the unprincipled nepotistic king at work. Poor guy , he obviously thinks that he is the reincarnation of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru , or Zulfikar Ali Bhutto all rolled into one,
    Would somebody please inform him that as much as we love his destined successor Mikela , she just ain’t no Inderia Gandhi , or Benazir Buttho, and have a whole lot a learning , growing up , and work to do to catch up with these two nationally adored elite South Asian Princess.
    In addition, we are aware that Mr. P created the ULF/UNC and all that, but this really cheapens the political process , and is tantamount to purchasing fifty acres of land in Barrackpore , and now 40 years after parceling it out to his daughter. It won’t work for him, and the party fortunes won’t change in any positive way ,because this is sweet T&T and not India , Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka , Indonesia , Burma, Guyana ,or the Philippines.
    Of course his rival Mr Manning has the luxury of power to flirt with own Machiavellian ideas of bringing in his wife , cousin ,and great grand child to be the deputies all he want to keep suspected enemies at bay, but at the end of the day , good sense would prevail, and a more worthy figure would emerge to ensure PNM rule continue unabated.
    As for the young lady Mickela, she got to ‘stop breaking sticks in here ears ,’ as my Granny would say. But wait, I wrote her a letters some time ago laying out a roadmap for political victory. Let me refresh her and our country’s memory, as I certainly enjoy my unsung hero’s role as an unpaid, non bias political advisor.
    There it is Kamla in black and white, for you and the thousand of capable , yet neglected women across our nation to recognize.
    Folks like Mr Panday, and Manning are made of the same cloth. They fervently believe in thought and such. It is just that they believe that this is only applicable for their immediate families, or blood lines.
    What a shame, the neo -colonialists!

  4. I meant to add in ending ,”They fervently believe in equal rights, gender equality ,and similar acts aimed at empowerment of our thousands of neglected, often disenfranchised , and powerless women. It is just that they think that this is only applicable …… “

  5. That meeting, yesterday, was frightening. Now Kamla is starting to sound like the others;

    “UNC till ah dead”

    A name can be a terrible thing. The supporters of the other opposition parties want what is best for them but have already become disenchanted with the UNC. I was hoping for an alliance with a new name, new party constitution and new manifesto. A real alliance of all opposing factors without the bacchanal we see in the UNC. What is Kamla saying? Does she want everyone to join the UNC? What about the Afro-Trinbagonians that have been permanently programmed to hate these three letters?

    Everyone is concerned about this “woman is boss” nonsense but no one knows what will come out of it all. It is clear that Kamla will win. She has spoken on the issues that her government will be dealing with but how will she get into government?

  6. I am glad atheist that Kamla is getting this early baptism , as it is a good exercise for the more turbulent journey ahead , should she put a wiping on Uncle Panday ,and his one time legal kingpin Ramesh- as I certainly hope she does.
    This desperate, straw grasping Pan/Ram ploy is politically understandable , yet it’s equally sad that the patriarchal crew sees it fit to resort to such underhand tactics to curb the efforts of the fine lady.
    Incidentally,if Madame K had observed the chess-like moves of Obama re his early drug problem ,she would have taken steps to defused her own long ago before making her challenge to the party hierarchy .
    I got it from reliable sources that this matter of her drinking , is well known , especially throughout her constituency, therefore by facing it head on, she could have saved herself all the media leaks ,and frenzy that the revelation is incurring via her political enemies.
    The fundamental question is , has it affected her judgements, and effectiveness as a leader in the past in her various capacities? Is she the only one of the three that occasionally ‘fire one’ too much before hitting the road? I think the answer is a resounding no on both fronts.
    I fully understand where you are coming from , in terms of some of her comments, but you want honesty in your political figures as well before any form of future alliance or coalitions can set into play.In addition , she is female and if she can mobilize the female votes nationally via some Trini style grandstanding, it’s not too bad a strategy, and we might have to endure the pain for the better long term ends.

    Let’s face it the preexistent politics that existed thus far before this advent of Madame K was quite boring on both sides of the so called divide. I am looking forward to an exciting time ahead , and firmly believe that the only beneficiaries can be our wonderful mosaic of people ,and by extension , the country as a whole.
    Let’s wish them well my friend.

  7. Before Kamla’s decision to run for the leadership post, I had much hope that she would be the one to unite those oppose to the corruption, neglect and mismanagement of our country, I was hoping that she would in fact contest the position. However, after her campaign launch, I had to reconsider my support somewhat. Mind you I am convinced that, if she is elected and once she remains independent of Panday, the UNC in whatever new form, would have a better chance at opposition unity, of getting into government or providing a credible opposition in the house in terms of seats (22 / 19 is possible).

    Since 2000, the UNC under Panday’s leadership has been tainted by corruption and has lost support. Ramesh would have stood up against the “parasitic oligarchy”, or so we have been told, I can’t tell you what’s in the mind of men. Panday would have seemingly ignored calls for allegations of corruption to be investigated. The UNC’s term in Government was cut short after Panday’s fall out with Ramesh Maharaj who was joined by Ralph Maraj and Trevor Sudama. The UNC was so tainted that people were actually saying “all dem Indians is thief”.

    On getting into office, the PNM launched investigations into the Airport Project and was able to return millions that were corruptly expended. Men have been tried in US courts for their involvement in defrauding the Govnt of T&T. Panday was sentenced to jail for his failure to declare the contents of his London Bank account.

    Panday has said on several occasions that he is willing to step down once the people no longer wish him to be leader. But he is very cleaver in this regard, he plays on the emotions of the blind loyalists, in true Panday style he reminds them about their “blood, sweat and tears” about their long “struggle”.

    In 2007, Kamla has been sidelined by Panday in favour of Jack Waner and Ramesh Maharaj in the leadership of the newly formed UNC-A, which was a coalition of opposing forces. At the UNC’s unity Raleigh at Mid Centre Mall on 7th October 2001 Kamla said “I stand before you today unashamed that I am bandaged, but I want to tell you that from this moment on, I will never crawl on my belly before you or anyone else”.

    After the hurt for this sidelining was over, Kamla has been a very staunch supporter of Basdeo Panday; she defended Panday’s every move whilst the RamJack-G faction was demanding change within the UNC. Was this in fact a strong woman, a woman who would never crawl on her belly for anyone again, was this a woman who can stand her ground and demand the change necessary for a party to move forward in unity and strength.

    At her campaign launch Kamla went on about not selling out the UNC base and that she is not for sale (who the hell care about a UNC base). Kamla went on to espouse the many things that Panday has done during his stint in politics, as Prime Minister and Member of Parliament. Recently however she has questioned what has he really done for the party after all his “struggle”. She indicated that for all his struggle he has been able to win but one election, as far as I am aware, this is well known to all, has Kamla now found out this.

    The overwhelming support that Kamla has been able to gather from so many, within and outside of the UNC, is based on the premise that she may be the one who can unite the opposition. She is seen as one who can re-unite those several UNC factions, who have left because of the leadership style of Panday. I am one of those who see her in this light, however, as indicated before, I am not too sure if this support should be blindly placed.

  8. I can sympathize with your dilemma mramps. Unfortunately, she lacks the luxury of time to try and reinvent herself to a growing skeptical nation ,and so change the fortunes of UNC still fixated on gloating over the spilling of precious ‘blood , sweat , and tears,’ during the early British Massa struggles,and post Massa forays. Being the generous , unpaid political adviser as I am ,here is my two sense on the subject , for all it’s worth Mramps.
    Mr. Panday has done a commendable job since turning down that Indian Commonwealth scholarship to return home and lead his people in the struggles first as a firebrand Trade Union leader , then as a political leader , and wider social activist.
    However, his people though not all totally there as yet, are not in need presently for his type of combative , non compromising, narrow ,tribalistic partizan gime, gime because I am desperate politics, since as for the most part ,they have fashioned themselves into playing a vital part in the ever fluctuating social , and economic fabric of our country. The reality is that East Indians are basking in the economic and political fortunes of our country, and are no longer the barefoot , desperate confused and lost exploitable victims that their older generation indentured grandparents were.

    What you need now is someone that is willing to present a comprehensive and dynamic policy to effect change , and help our under achieving country to finally live up to full expectations , expected of a country bless with abundant natural ,and enterprising human resources.
    I do not know if that person is Kamela, nor really care for that matter to tell you the truth. You may be right in saying that she is cut from the same cloth and is tainted like all the rest , but you and many others are living in a pipe dream world if you think some unwelcome foreign based character can suddenly emerge from Yale , NYU ,Harvard, Oxford , Cambridge , University of Toronto , or Mars , and would be allowed to try and save sweet T&T from British styled divisive , UNC /PNM two party domination and non visionary rule.
    I wish you well in your quest.

  9. Please allow me to state categorically, I expect no-one to come from nowhere to do anything for this country, I have always advocated that the only people who can change this place, are those who elect leaders. We have the power to change the policies/priorities of our leaders. We can do this by rethinking how we negotiate with the politicians; we would never become developed as a people being blindly loyal to anyone or party. This is why, whilst I support Kamla, I am NOT going to do so blindly, I am not going to believe that once she is leader, everything would magically change. Panday’s recent comments (in true Panday style) toward Kamla, advising her to get the “monkey off her back, and I am not talking about Jack Warner” proves my blind loyalty theory, Panday knows who he is talking too, the blind UNC loyalists who are eligible to vote in this election. Ramesh, Trevor and Ralph were Nimakarams, I am awaiting to hear what Jack (an African) would be called.

  10. Mramps said ” the only people who can change this place, are those who elect leaders. We have the power to change the policies/priorities of our leaders. We can do this by rethinking how we negotiate with the politicians.”
    Come on mramps , I know this sounds fine to to your ears , but get real . Not many sensible and vibrant leaders are prepared to come forward , so as to throw their hats into the ring ,and be subjected to the daily symbolic castrations, and ideological rapes by these old school clowns still locked in medieval ,and 16th century Feudal politics ,where women were knew their places, and those of the lower caste twiddled their thumbs and accepted their lots in life because it was their Karma.
    Jack Warner, like Wade Mark , ANR Robinson, Ken Gordon, Karl Hudson Phillip ,Kaisonian Gypsy , former running sensation Bolton , one time ULF co creator Raffique Shah,and the mad Caucasian architect of Sou Sou lands fame genius Humphrey , were perceived as convenient ,useful stooges, that were pushed for a while by the crafty Panday and his ardent misguided advisers ,to fulfill a narrow and skewed agenda .
    With the exception of Mark thus far , they have been all discarded once they outlived their usefulness, as you can plainly see. Notice however for all his loyalty how he has choose to reward Mark. Every Tom, Dick , Bridgelal ,and Sabrina , are given safe seats toto bolster their fortunes as they hold concrete political power , while the poor fellow is left to rot in the Senate doing all the hard work of trying to keep arrogant PNMites from running roughshod over the people , and the country on an even keel.
    Butler, George Weeks and Mc Cloud must be turning over in their collective graves to see what has become of the social activist and Trade union fighter Mark.
    If that guy was to salivate and wrap Panday’s jockstrap around his neck any tighter , he might not make it to the upcoming party election ,or more important Aranguez Pawwar festival . What a pitiful joke!
    As for Kamela, you are correct not to get your hope up too high on that lady with the insatiable thirst/ penchant for Vat19 , Old Oak, and Johnny Walker . She is too enamored by ,and holds too much unwarranted respect for Panday ,to be independent and effective down the road. It is real easy when you can jump in front of the gullible media bandwagon and cry discrimination, incompetence , and corruption, while pointing fingers at kinky head PNM characters.
    If you can however flip the script and call your own to task on their deficiencies, that’s when we’ll start to take you seriously across Rainbow nation . The first thing that Kamela should be publicly doing is demand that Pandy surrender to law enforcement authorities so as to save us further embarrassments and unnecessary financial griefs . She should then see that he get going to acquiring some measurements for his long overdue prison gabs ,and use her legal influence to ensure that his trial commence the week of the January party elections .
    In addition,try to make a dent on run away white and blue color crimes , beginning with a request for a Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 pro Islamic atrocities and the possible role of any of her party members played in it , including a certain high end , former Human Rights guru , aka Baker legal defender, that enjoyed popping the necks of selected members of his friends enemies ,once he was in charge.
    Keep the faith my friend, for all it’s problems, T&T is still the greatest country on earth, and when I dead like Funny said , “just bury me in the center of the city,” cause me “nah leaving. ”
    Thanks Denese. Perhaps you should run .

  11. I apologize to you, Neal. I baptized Kamla a little too early. According to Jack, many eligible voters have been removed from the electoral list, not just the recent applicants. I doubt that he would lie about something that will not benefit him since he is very far from being a fool. It gets worse….

    Persons who were on the committee which was responsible for such things as the list, election date, transportation of the ballots and setting the date for the election, have openly joined the race, i.e. they are contesting the same elections that they are overseeing. This sounds so stupid. I can’t believe that I find myself typing this madness. Can you imagine what it would be like if the Caricom observers, in a national election, were replaced by PNM candidates?

    It looks to me like Dookie was the most intelligent one after all.

  12. You know athiest , we are such a blessed people in our little neck of the woods Trinidad and Tobago , that sometimes we don’t even recognize it, and so often take things for granted. Have a peak back at our fortunes historically. I cannot even remember outside of the possible polio outbreak in the 70’s ,if we ever had a real crisis to lament about. Our music , foods, people , humor, compromising spirit , love and appreciation for others , enchantment towards new and innovative ideas and experiences , thirst for knowledge , predilection for self criticisms ,are all interwoven in that make up of what constitutes a Trini national.
    As for politics , we are fortunate due to Mother Britannia ,to be the beneficiary of a great system , even with most of it’s flaws . The first truism for us is that coalitions and alliances are the only way forward. Westminster system must be tweaked to fit our own purposes not the other way around. This is not about beating PNM , or again giving UNC , COP, NJAC, Tapia etc a chance to prove that they are worthy of running the country. It is rather a need for a new road map , to transport us towards sustainable development that all our citizens, whether old , young , rich ,and poor can benefit.
    It’s about learning from our own past mistakes and emulating only the fine choices by made others . We have to start to develop a distinctive coherent national identity . It’s not going to be an easy task ahead, and I am becoming more and more convince that politics is not the sole way forward. For a multitude of reasons ,I still possess profound love for this my country and home , as well as hold strong faith in the resilience and indomitable our people. Let’s be prepared to play our role in putting it at the top where it belongs.
    Warm regards.


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