Former government minister Vasant Bharath says the loss of jobs at Petrotrin will undoubtedly cause severe hardship and social and economic dislocation.
He says it is ironic that the decision to shut down the refinery, comes during the week T&T celebrates Independence Day.
Bharath issued the following statement on Tuesday.
"It is noteworthy that the announcement of the planned shutdown of the refinery of Petrotrin has emerged in the week of the observance of Trinidad and Tobago's 56th Anniversary of political independence.
Vasant Bharath and his team reconnect have withdrawn from the United National Congress's internal elections.
Bharath who signaled his intentions early to contest the position of political leader says he cannot in good conscience participate in what he is calling an unfair and illegal election.
He was speaking at a media conference in Chaguanas this morning.