United National Congress (UNC) political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has challenged the political leader of the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) Prime Minister Patrick Manning to call an immediate election.
She said top members of the UNC national executive were mandated to create a proposal for strengthening and uniting the UNC for it to become the next government. She also said that the UNC would solicit support from other opposition forces to beat the PNM after the UNC had better stabilised its foundation. Persad-Bissessar thrashed Manning and his regime for squandering billions of dollars, rather than improving the standard and quality of living among the population of T&T. She expressed disgust that Sport Minister Gary Hunt would use a televised address to the nation to indicate his acceptance of an error in mounting a national flag at a cost of about $2 million. "I saw Minister Gary Hunt last (Sunday) night on the television, apologising for the $2 million flag...He said it was the wrong thing to do," Persad-Bissessar said. "Mr Hunt, that is not good enough. The entire government needs to apologise and you need to call an election now so that we can move you out of office now."
She pointed out that a calypso called De Flag Hunter performed by Winston Scarborough, who used the sobriquet "The Original De Fosto Himself," was a popular hit at the UNC's People's Party at Rienzi Complex last Saturday, because of the outrage that the two-million-dollar-flag was able to generate. Persad-Bissessar noted that much of the issues raised at the UNC's Couva North launch of its "Meet The Constituents Tour" on Monday night stemmed from the breakdown in basic government functions, such as the delivery of healthcare, proper infrastructure and stable supplies of public utilities, like water. "The issues clearly point, demonstrate (and) show why we must form the next government of T&T," Persad-Bissessar said. "The only way to rectify those major problems is to remove the Manning regime and form the next government and put good government practices in our land." She emphasised the need for UNC members to march united and strong. Persad-Bissessar said she would be unable to accept the resignations of members of former UNC political leader Basdeo Panday's Couva North constituency executive because she needed them "to continue to serve the party as best as they can."
Members of Panday's Couva North constituency executive agreed over the weekend to abandon him and support Persad-Bissessar and her leadership of the UNC.