Long-standing UNC member and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Wade Mark, says the decision by the party's national executive to call an election for the post of political leader at this time, is correct.
Mark says the party's constitution allows for it.
He issued the following statement today:
"As a founding member of the United National Congress (UNC), I sat on the platform in the National Stadium on Sunday, 30th April, 1989 when our great Party was created.
Several other members joined me as we sought to form a Party that would truly and genuinely represent the interests of the working class, the middle class, the farmers, small and medium-sized business organizations as well as the ordinary working people who were alienated from the political decision-making process in our twin island Republic..
For over twenty-seven years from then until now, I have been an active, committed and dedicated member of this great and glorious political institution contributing positively to its growth and development. I have served as Chairman of this great Party as well as one of its three deputy political leaders.
It is on this strength that I can state without any fear of contradiction that the decision of the NATEX of the UNC led by Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar with respect to the holding of elections for officers of the party's NATEX is indeed correct. The internal elections announced by the National Executive on October 20th, 2017 fall squarely within the provisions of the Party’s constitution.
Further, it is factually inaccurate to state, as some have done, that there are no provisions in the UNC Constitution as there are within our National Constitution to allow for an election before the constitutionally due date. There are in fact provisions in the UNC Constitution to allow, likewise, the holding of elections before the constitutionally due date.
One can only assume that the framers of both Constitutions understood the importance of setting an outer limit, while retaining the flexibility for the leadership to be responsive to the interest of the people that they serve.
It is important that we recognize the Party is as strong as it has ever been, which has been demonstrated by the resolve and effort of party officers, activists and members who have been helping victims in the recent flooding disaster, as team UNC. At a time of great need we have seen people from within the party ranks rise to the occasion, in line with the Political Leader's guidance and example.
In that regard, I would like to extend my full support for the current Political Leader of the UNC, Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar, as she takes the bold and democratic decision to face the membership of the Party and gain their support as the party prepares to return to Government."