Former Progressive Empowerment Party leader Phillip Alexander said: “The use of the courts to silence political opponents should be a worry to every free-thinking citizen of T&T.
He made the statement after confirming that his decision to bow out of politics, was as a result of recent lawsuits he lost, to which he has been ordered to pay out some hefty sums.
Alexander, in a GML interview, admitted that the lawsuits against him by Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Patriotic Front leader Mickela Panday were what caused him to quit public life and resign as PEP leader.
In October, the court ordered Alexander to pay Imbert $525,000 in damages after losing a defamation case concerning false allegations against Imbert in 2020.
Then, on Tuesday, Alexander was ordered by the court to pay $850,000 in compensation to Panday for defamation for false remarks about Panday preceding the 2020 general elections.
He told the media house, ”The use of the courts to silence political opponents should be a worry to every free-thinking citizen of T&T. I’ll be saying more on this in the near future.”
In a subsequent statement, Alexander said, “Members of the public have been noticing these seemingly endless lawsuits and accompanying awards and have been asking me about them. Some have asked if this is in any way connected to me stepping out of politics. The short answer is yes.I needed to insulate the party we built while I attempted to deal with all of it.”
“There have in fact been ten of these lawsuits in different stages of completion. I believe it is time the public was made aware and brought up to date with all of it and the hundreds of thousands in legal fees alone it has cost so far.
Alexander pointed out that, “Because of my voice, there is a Commission of Enquiry into the divers’ deaths at Paria. Because of my voice, people of every race and class could once again use Wildflower Park without being chased by security guards. Because of my voice, the handicapped have reserved parking spaces. Because of my voice, no one dies due to vehicular accidents at Gandhi Village roundabout any more. Pitbulls no longer maul children to death and the Children’s Authority Act was passed into law.”
“I am the voice that etched Akiel Chambers and Andrea Bharatt’s names into permanent history, so no one forgets. Diego Martin residents no longer take hours to get home. Moruga got its roads repaired and upper Rich Plain got water for the first time in 62 years. Without holding public office, I ‘ve done more for more people for free than any other politician alive or dead,” Alexander added, thanking everyone for support.