Panday: Why UNC MPs so riled up about my meeting?

Monday, February 17, 2020 - 20:15

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Bas­deo Pan­day is cu­ri­ous why some UNC MPs are “so riled” up about his moves to unite small­er par­ties to seek con­sti­tu­tion­al re­form and con­test gen­er­al elec­tions.

He was com­ment­ing af­ter UNC MP Fuad Khan, Roodal Mooni­lal, Rudy In­dars­ingh and Su­ruj Ram­bachan frowned on his plan.


He has is­sued a call for a meet­ing with small par­ties in Ch­agua­nas to­mor­row (Wednes­day).

Pan­day said, “Re­spons­es (to the meet­ing) have been very good. But I can’t un­der­stand (UNC MPs) views.

They may feel threat­ened they may no longer dom­i­nate the Par­lia­ment if a third force suc­ceeds in­clud­ing in seek­ing pro­por­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion. That wouldn’t al­low vot­ing along racial lines the way it is now.”

He said to­mor­row’s meet­ing was open and wasn’t a “se­cret” meet­ing.

One per­son whom Pan­day in­vit­ed who won’t at­tend is Na­tion­al Coali­tion for Trans­for­ma­tion head Nali­ni Di­al.

“I thought it was a pri­vate meet­ing. That would have been bet­ter for views to be voiced prop­er­ly, then lat­er go pub­lic,” Di­al said, adding Pan­day’s meet­ing seemed to be a front to gain sup­port/mem­bers for his daugh­ter’s par­ty.

She said Pan­day con­tact­ed her last week and she at first agreed to at­tend. But she isn’t, af­ter not­ing Pan­day’s so­cial me­dia posts invit­ing oth­ers. Di­al said she and oth­ers were hav­ing uni­ty talks since May 2019, aim­ing to launch a unit­ed front af­ter Car­ni­val.

“I ac­tu­al­ly made the first call on so­cial me­dia last year, for all these small par­ties to unite and fight the next elec­tions. DPTT’s Steve Al­varez sought talks last May and we agreed we need­ed to come to­geth­er to be a stronger force.”

She said a group, “To­geth­er We Achieve was formed “ in­clud­ing Al­varez, Clyde Weath­er­head, Ken­neth Munro Brown, Philip Fran­co, Sub­haraj Sar­wan who met in June 2019, “We agreed uni­ty was the on­ly way for­ward, but we should try to get oth­ers in­volved. I gave the group about 16 names. In­clud­ed were, (Con­gress of the Peo­ple) COP, (Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice )MSJ, (In­de­pen­dent Lib­er­al Par­ty) ILP, (Na­tion­al Sol­i­dar­i­ty As­sem­bly) NSA, (Pro­gres­sive Par­ty) PP, (Pa­tri­ot­ic Front) PF, (Peo­ple’s Em­pow­er­ment Par­ty) PEP, (De­mo­c­ra­t­ic Na­tion­al As­sem­bly) DNA, TTDF, and oth­ers. We left out PNM and UNC; and Vas­ant Bharath and Louis Lee Sing, be­cause they weren’t lead­ers of any par­ty.”

Af­fir­ma­tive re­spons­es on­ly came from the PP, PF, and ILP, she said. PP’s Nikoli Ed­wards agreed to at­tend and PF’s Mick­ela Pan­day agreed but nev­er at­tend­ed. She said the group con­tin­ued meet­ing and agreed to launch their unit­ed front af­ter Car­ni­val and make a pub­lic ap­peal to oth­ers.

“It’s, there­fore, very sur­pris­ing to see Mr Pan­day’s uni­ty call now es­pe­cial­ly since he nev­er con­tact­ed me since last year when I was mak­ing this same uni­ty call.”

Reporter: Gail Alexander