UNC hit by third parliamentary resignation

(Trinidad Express) Former United National Congress (UNC) senator Lyndira Oudit has joined the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), the Express has learnt.

Oudit, who announced her resignation yesterday, both from the UNC and the Senate, is expected to share a political platform on Saturday with interim political leader and founder of the ILP, Jack Warner, when the party launches its local government campaign.

Oudit, who was also vice-president of the Senate, is likely to be named as one of the ILP’s deputy political leaders and is also carded to make her first political speech when she mounts the ILP’s platform at Auzonville Park, corner Auzonville Road and the Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna.

Warner has already named his attorney Anna Deonarine as an interim deputy political leader and attorney Robin Montano as interim chairman.

While Warner would not divulge information about Oudit’s involvement in the party he did indicate yesterday that the ILP was busy finalising plans for the launch of its local government elections campaign.

“Things are going extremely well with our plans. We had a meeting last night (Monday night) where we were streamlining the programme for Saturday’s launch, following which we will begin to look at the screening of candidates,” Warner  said.

Making it clear that there is “no stopping him” as he moves from by-election to local government elections, to general elections, Warner has indicated that he has also set his sights on Tobago.

Political leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People, (TOP) Ashworth Jack , confirmed the resignation of the chairman of the TOP,  Lionel Coker, who he said gave no reason for quitting his post in his resignation letter yesterday.

These latest developments come on the heels of two resounding defeats suffered by the ruling UNC at the Chaguanas West by-election poll last week and the Tobago House of Assembly executive election in January this year.

During the blistering by-election battle,  some 10 councillors of the UNC and the Congress of the People (COP) also resigned from their parties to join the ILP.

The councillors are Falisha Isahaq, Danan Singh, Ramesh Ramadhan and Eric Harry (from the Chaguanas Borough); Wazim Daniel (Diego Martin); Winston Ramsaroop (Tunapuna Regional Corporation); Clinton Jennings (Arima Corporation), Dayne Francois, Lawrence Lalla and Quincy Luces (Sangre Grande).

Of the 10, four are Congress of the people (COP) councillors.

At a recent press conference following his victory in the Chaguanas West by-election, Warner  outlined a six-point plan to take his ILP forward, among which was a party constitution, which he said  is being framed by a team led by Deonarine.

Warner also said that the party was embarking on a leadership drive for persons interested in serving their country under the ILP banner.

“We are not only looking in our leadership drive for councillors, aldermen, possible candidates for general elections, but we are also looking for persons interested in leading and we will be asking applicants to state clearly in their resume in what areas they possess the competence to lead.

“This is important because once a national pool of leaders has been identified, the ILP will run development courses for this team to institutionally strengthen their capacity when we advance to Government,” Warner said.

Warner added that a database of all the applications for membership is being prepared disaggregated according to the 121 electoral areas in Local Government in the first instance, and the 41 constituencies in the second.  He said  the database will give an idea as to the support of the ILP for the local government elections.

The ILP leader also added that he will be opening offices across Trinidad and Tobago, and said the party has already established a planning committee to organise a National Assembly of all its supporters tentatively set for Sunday, September 29, 2013, so that all leadership positions can be ratified.

Warner has also indicated plans to set up two teams, one to develop a Strategic Development Plan for the 14 electoral areas in local government and another to prepare a draft plan for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

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