(Trinidad Express) JACK WARNER will “keep his options open”, should the United National Congress (UNC) screening committee fail to select him to contest the Chaguanas West seat at the by-election.
Warner spoke briefly to reporters at the Chaguanas West constituency office during a break from the motorcade he led yesterday to launch his re-election campaign.
The seat is yet to be declared vacant by House Speaker Wade Mark. It is expected to be done in Parliament on Friday.
Warner resigned from the post of National Security Minister two weeks ago and as chairman of the UNC the following day.
Three days later, during a public meeting in Chaguanas, he told supporters he was stepping down as Member of Parliament for the area, but will contest the by-election.
His resignations came following a Concacaf Integrity Committee report which found that Warner was fraudulent in his management of the organisation while he was president.
The Express was told last week the UNC will not be selecting Warner to contest the seat, but that Trade Minister Vasant Bharath is being considered.
This will mean Warner will have to run as an independent.
Asked yesterday if he was concerned about running as an independent candidate, Warner said, “I not concerned at all. I am saying that when that bridge comes I will cross it… The Prime Minister and her screening team, in their wisdom or lack of it, will decide on who will be the candidate for Chaguanas West and when they do, if I am selected, I will be grateful. If I’m not, I will keep my options open.”
Yesterday, scores of vehicles bearing flags and banners with Warner’s name and picture were loaded with his supporters, who followed him throughout the Chaguanas West constituency.
Tassa music signalled to residents that Warner was nearing their homes as well as music trucks which blared the song, “The Journey Now Start” by Chris “Tambu” Herbert.
A song which rang out Warner’s name was also played by the trucks in the two-kilometre-long motorcade.
At the start of the event at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Warner was flanked by his supporters. He thanked them for being present and said, “Today marks the beginning of the return of Jack Warner. I will come back into office based on the collective support of all or you… All of you who are here today are part of the making of history in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Warner led the motorcade, which was not a UNC-sanctioned event, standing in the tray of a one-tonne truck along with his secretary Indra Maharaj and his security detail.
The motorcade passed through areas in Chaguanas West, including La Paille Village, Frederick Settlement, South Main Road, Caroni, Munroe Road, Endeavour and the Caroni Savannah Road.
It ended at Jubilee Recreation Ground at Cacandee Road, Felicity, with Warner addressing the gathering.