OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS, The Official Opposition In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago.

Correcting The Record: The Media Must Not Put Words In Leader’s Mouth

To: All Editors
From: UNC Communications
Date: 25th March 2024


The United National Congress strongly objects to members of the media falsely putting words in the mouth of our Political Leader, the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC and presenting it as fact.

On CNC3’s Morning Brew Programme on Monday March 25, 2024, host Jason ‘JW” Williams — defeated former PNM candidate for San Juan/Barataria in 2020 — wrongly ascribed malicious statements to Mrs.Persad-Bissessar.

Mr. Williams stated:

“I’m actually looking at what your political leader said. Your leader, she would have mentioned ‘wannabes, cowards and outcasts.’ That is what—the adjectives used to describe Mr. Paray and his team who are challenging and basically saying you know what, let’s have the internals. She said ‘wannabes, cowards and outcasts’.”

This is totally false and misleading.

At no time did the UNC Political Leader ever utter the words “cowards and outcasts”.

At a news conference on Friday, March 22, 2024, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar, when questioned by the media on the issue at hand, said:

“Our party is a strong, a very strong party. We remain committed to the party’s constitution and to the laws of the land. And thirdly, you know, we have some wannabes. I wish them good luck and say we remain committed to the party’s constitution. We follow the party’s constitution.”

Notably, this correct quote was carried in the sister newspaper of CNC3, in an article by reporter Otto Carrington, published in the Guardian on Saturday, March 23, 2024 (

In light of this false, misleading quote being attributed to Mrs. Persad-Bissessar, the UNC calls for CNC3 to retract, apologise, and correct the record with equal prominence, in accordance with the tenets of responsible journalism, which invokes the strictest adherence to truth, fairness and accuracy.

The second issue is ongoing media reports, based on false utterances by some individuals, that the UNC has taken a decision to not hold its internal elections for the party’s National Executive.

Notably, the UNC’s political leader, nor any other member of the National Executive, has made any public statement in this regard.

In fact, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has stressed that the party will adhere to its constitution at all times, stating, repeatedly in the public domain that:

“We remain committed to the party’s constitution and to the laws of the land. We follow the party’s constitution.”

The issue therefore does not arise. By making these false claims that internal elections have been delayed, when they have not been, these individuals are sowing confusion. We call on them to cease.

Thirdly, the UNC takes note of some individuals calling for leadership elections and a change of leadership.

The party wishes to clarify that leadership elections for the post of political leader are not due until 2025, according to the party’s constitution. In the last leadership election, in 2022, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar convincingly won a resounding mandate from the UNC membership.

We affirm that members have a right to support whomever they wish for leader, and to contest leadership themselves. However, making public declarations against the constitutionally-elected leader of the UNC, outside of the internal elections process, only serves to destablise the party. We call on these members to cease from engaging in such activities and work together in unity, constitutionally, to defeat the PNM and secure Trinidad and Tobago.

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