(Trinidad Guardian) Former United National Congress (UNC) chairman and national security minister Jack Warner last evening surprised his supporters by announcing, days before time, that he would officially run as a candidate in the July 29 Chaguanas West by-election. Warner made the statement as he spoke to a group of supporters at the Caroni Community Centre,New Street, Caroni. He said he was still undecided about how he would run as an independent or form his own party but said either way he would battle with the UNC’s Khadijah Ameen and the PNM’s Avinash Singh to represent his former constituents with a fresh mandate. “I have not decided if I would contest as an independent or form my own party,” he told the audience.
The one thing he had decided officially, he said, was that after tomorrow, he would no longer be wearing the yellow colours of the UNC. Instead, Warner will stage a walkabout through Caroni tomorrow and on Friday he will host a meeting at the Pierre Road Recreation Ground at 7 pm, when he will unveil his new colour—green. He admitted afterwards that a story in yesterday’s T&T Guardian, in which UNC election officer Ramona Ramdial noted that he would be immediately expelled from the party if he chose to run against Ameen in the by-election, had motivated him to make his announcement early.
Warner had initially indicated he would announce his plans at Friday’s meeting.
Yesterday, he said he had decided to contest the by-election because he wanted to “show T&T what good governance was about”. Warner said he had visited the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to review his papers and said everything was in order. He said he has chosen a symbol and the colour green and urged his supporters to replace their yellow jerseys with green for Friday. He remained secretive on the symbol. Warner also knocked his opponents, Ameen and Singh, calling them “little children in a big people race”.