Vasant to Kamla: "Let's debate"

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 12:30

UNC leadership candidate, Vasant Bharath has invited Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to debate.

Bharath is challenging Persad-Bissessar for the position of leadership of the party in the November 26th party elections.

He sent this letter to Persad-Bissessar:

"Dear Mrs. Bissessar,

On May 24th, 2010, the People’s Partnership won an overwhelming mandate from the people of Trinidad and Tobago to form the Government.

The coalition of 5 parties swept the polls with 432,026 votes, over 60% of the votes cast and a Constitutional majority of 29 seats. In so doing, the PP captured the public’s imagination as a vehicle of hope that would provide us all with a bigger and brighter future.

Whilst under your tenure as Prime Minister, the PP Government made significant strides, it is obvious that the then Government lost the trust of the population resulting in 5 successive and humiliating defeats at the polls, namely the THA election, the Chaguanas By Election, the loss of 5 Regional Corporations, the St. Joseph By Election and finally the General Election of 2015 where the PP Govt suffered a crushing defeat, losing 11 seats in the process.

The population also witnessed, what was essentially, the dissolution/destruction of the Partnership. We went into Govt. as a group of 5 and crashed into Opposition as the lone survivor.

This paved the way for the PNM to assume the corridors of power that even they may not have thought possible a few months prior.

However, in the 26 months, since September 2015, the PNM government has proven itself to be one of the most incompetent, corrupt, arrogant and highhanded regimes that this country has ever experienced and has brought untold suffering to a heavily burdened population.

It is therefore critical that the United National Congress readies itself to remove the PNM at the appropriate time and that we inform, not just party members, but the population at large of our plans and policies to once again provide inspiration for a better future for us all.

It is in this context that I am inviting you to participate in a public debate at your earliest convenience, to be televised, in your own words, ‘manos y manos’ to discuss the following important matters:

1. Plans for Rebuilding the UNC as a national party and regaining public trust
2. Lessons learnt from having suffered 5 successive national defeats and converting that knowledge into victory at the next election
3. Engaging other political participants outside of the UNC base, in a sincere, meaningful and sustainable way
4. Plans for restructuring the Trinidad and Tobago economy to combat the various economic and social issues facing us

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I would be happy to debate any other matters which you consider relevant to the development of the Party and progress of the nation.

I have also taken note of the fact that you recently used the platform of a MNF in Couva to launch your personal campaign and receive endorsements for the position of Political Leader of the UNC.

In the event, therefore, that your schedule does not permit for a televised debate, I would be happy to examine these critical issues, with equal time afforded us both, at your next MNF carded to be held at St Helena Hindu Primary School on Monday 13th November, 2017

As time is of the essence, I would appreciate an urgent response so that the necessary preparations could be put in place. Information regarding my address and telephone number may be obtained from my membership records held at the UNC’s head office although an emailed response will suffice.

Yours Respectfully,
Vasant V Bharath FCCA CA LLM MBA"