Kamla urges UNC to stay united, strong for 2024
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar said the United National Congress (UNC) is stronger united as she issued an appeal for members to stick together in the mission to ‘rescue’ Trinidad and Tobago from the Keith Rowley-led Government.
Speaking at a gala Christmas dinner at Passage to Asia restaurant, on Saturday, the former prime minister delivered a brief speech where she noted general elections are around the corner and the UNC is on a road to victory. The next general election is constitutionally due in 2025 but the prime minister has the power to call the election before. Referring to the local government election in which the UNC gained ground, Persad-Bissessar said that 2023 was a ‘very strong’ year for the UNC.
At the local government election on August 14, there was a 7-7 tie between the UNC and PNM, the same from the previous election held in December 2019. However, Persad-Bissessar boasted that although there was a tie, the UNC had gained ground in the polling divisions of the marginal constituencies held by the PNM.
The UNC leader’s appeal for unity comes at a time when there are divisions in the party where some MPs are not in full support of her leadership. At a political meeting, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, without calling names, had urged UNC members to not be distracted by the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’. His comments came on the heels of three MPs-Mayaro MP Rushton Paray, Naparima MP Rodney Charles and Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally-appearing on a television programme where Paray was asked what he would do about the Guyana-Venezuela conflict if he was prime minister. Charles later announced that he will not be seeking re-election to office for the ‘safe seat’ of Naparima when the next general election bell is rung. He cited his age and the need for younger politicians to take the wheel as his reasons.
Persad-Bissessar, at the UNC Christmas dinner, said the only thing stopping the UNC from forming the next Government will be divisions as she noted the strength the UNC has gained over the years. ‘To be strong we had to work very, very hard and so many of you not just inside the Parliament but outside the Parliament who continue to give us that tremendous support and who work so very hard. So if we think 2023 was strong and hard, 2024 is going to be stronger and harder,’ she said.
She said 2024 is going to be a ‘very exciting’ year. ‘Are you ready for 2024?’ she asked as the crowd shouted ‘Yes!’ ‘We are on the road to victory… the only thing to hold back that victory is if you lose faith and you lose heart and we break up into pieces,’ said Persad-Bissessar.
She reiterated the need for the party to remain united and strong. ‘I urge you to continue to stay together, to stay united, we may have differences of opinions, that is the nature of human beings but, at the end of the day, we have one goal, we have one vision and we have one mission and that is to rescue Trinidad and Tobago from the most incompetent Government we ever had,’ she said.
Persad-Bissessar urged members to join hands in love and unity and prepare for victory.