(Trinidad Express) FOREIGN experts are on the ground to assist the People’s Partnership in its general election campaign.
Campaign manager for the United National Congress (UNC) Rodney Charles told the Express yesterday a team is working together, which includes Ernie Ross, of Ross Advertising.
UNC chairman Khadijah Ameen said the campaign will intensify when the election candidates are named. The general election will be held September 7.
“We have a team of people who are working together and collaborating and we have been working for some time,” said Ameen.
“We do have persons from abroad working with us, we have local experts working with us and, of course, we have married that to the constituency expertise, the people who have the expertise on the ground,” she said.
Asked if the foreign personnel included the team that ran newly re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron’s successful May 2015 general election campaign, Ameen said: “I cannot give you that kind of detail, but I can confirm to you we do have people working with us from abroad.”
Sources told the Express the team who worked with Cameron is in fact in Trinidad and assisting with the UNC’s campaign.
In 2010, Bernie Campbell, who was an election campaign strategist for US President Barack Obama, was hired to work with UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was elected as this country’s first female Prime Minister on May 24, 2010.
UNC receives 200 nominations
Ameen said the UNC’s Monday Night Forum will continue alongside the selection and screening of candidates. There was no forum last night.
She said more than 200 nominations were received and the party’s secretariat was working on doing the relevant checks to ascertain that nominees are financial members and also meet the criteria of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).
Deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. Friday.
Ameen added that she has been on the ground and the feedback from the people has been positive.
“A number of persons have already decided who they will vote for and a large number of persons have said whatever Jack Warner says will not influence how they will vote,” she said.
Corruption-accused Warner, a former Cabinet minister and now leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), has promised to expose the PM’s wrong-doings.
Warner is scheduled to have a news conference today at 2.30 p.m. to disclose further information on Persad-Bissessar.
Warner’s soap opera
“Jack Warner has not been able to dispute the Prime Minister’s record of performance and delivery that is key…the comparison between Kamla as Prime Minister and Keith Rowley as choice for prime minister leaves Kamla very far ahead in the race,” said Ameen.
“In my own working on the ground and working with the people, I don’t believe that Jack Warner will influence the outcome of this election. People are making a joke of his allegations, it has become a sort of a soap opera where the things that he says, because of his lack of integrity, everything is viewed with scepticism,” she said.
“It really has become a joke, I look at the social media commentary and it really is a joke, there are so many memes of what he said and it’s a soap opera,” she added.
Ameen said, to date, Warner has failed to answer the serious charges against him by the United States Department of Justice.
“The allegation of stealing money from Haiti is something nobody in Trinidad is comfortable with, even if you appear to be a Robin Hood to help persons… Sadly for him, at the end of the day, he will have to answer,” she said.