‘Expect more defections’


That was the word from Warner yesterday, shortly after Oudit officially announced on CNC 3’s Morning Brew programme that she had joined the ILP and would serve as an interim deputy political leader. Asked by the T&T Guardian how he was able to convince Oudit to join the ILP, Warner said: “On the contrary, Oudit saw in the ILP certain values missing in political parties at present.


“She saw our aspirations and goals. We have been working together for the last four years and shared a similar vision for the country. “The kind of failures she has seen in political parties convinced her to take this particular route and we welcomed her with open arms,” he said. “If I get two or three Lyndiras per se, it will give me no end of comfort. She has consistently stood on principles and what she believes.


“She has given up her salary and perks and when one can make these sacrifices…” Asked when Oudit made the decision to join the ILP, given that she only resigned from the UNC on Monday, Warner said they had been talking for the past week and she only formalised her decision yesterday morning. Asked if he would be wooing other UNC members to cross over to the ILP, Warner said he was expecting many more but they would be talking to him and not the other way around.


“They will be talking to me. I am not trying to raid anybody’s party, (but) I expect many more. Some will be doing it behind the scenes and some openly.” Warner said the ILP’s launch of its local government election campaign at Auzonville Park in Tunapuna on Saturday would be telling. 


In a July 31 published address, two days after he resoundingly won the Chaguanas West by-election, Warner said the ILP “will be embarking on a leadership drive for persons interested in serving their country. We are not only looking in our leadership drive for councillors, aldermen, possible candidates for the general election…”


Asked about the new party’s constitution, Warner recalled it took the Congress of the People two years to come up with its constitution and noted it had taken the ILP two months to complete its own. He said the party’s constitution would be ratified at its national assembly on September 29. 


Responding to questions on the ILP’s philosophy, Warner said all would be revealed at the assembly, but summed it up this way: “One of the things we have been doing and saying is the ILP will redefine what true service to the people means. “No one will be discriminated against or victimised and we will remove nepotism and cronyism.”


In his July 31 address, Warner said the ILP’s constitution was being framed by a team led by Anna Deonarine, an attorney and one of the party’s interim deputy political leaders. Yesterday, he said the ILP’s election machinery was busy with preparations to contest the upcoming local government elections and he was sure the party “will be taking three corporations.”


Interim executive member, Inshan Ishmael, part of the ILP’s management committee, said the executive would be meeting to confirm what seats they would be contesting, but said the party was trying to capture as many as possible. Asked about fears among some members of the Indo-Trinidadian community that the ILP would only split the UNC seats in the local government and general elections and result in wins for the PNM, Warner replied: “Why the ILP wouldn’t split the PNM votes also?


“In the 2010 general election, the PNM got 1,471 votes in Chaguanas West. In 2013, they got 422. Did the ILP split any votes? The split took place in the PNM and the UNC.” Warner said the ILP would be opening offices across T&T. 



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