And then, there were two…
The race for leadership in the United National Congress’s internal election is now down a man, after Devant Maharaj pulled out citing irregularities.
The party held its nomination day on Sunday, where the three prospective candidates – Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Vasant Bharath and Devant Maharaj were expected to file nomination papers.
However, Maharaj did not submit his name.
Maharaj said while he remained interested in contesting the post of political leader, he remained convinced that the election committee was biased.
He told media: “The conduct of this election is obscene and vulgar and, while I am very much interested in contesting the position, I will not subject myself at this point to be part of a fraudulent process.
“My members have prepared the forms (nomination forms) but it is difficult to acquiesce to a fraudulent procedure.”
In letter to the party’s chairman Peter Kanhai, Maharaj gave a seven-day timeline in which to clear the air on the purported training manual created by Persad-Bissessar and the identity of the general secretary.
Maharaj said “To date, despite innumerable attempts to ascertain who is the general secretary of the UNC, the information is shrouded in secrecy.
“Given the fact that the general secretary would have played a role in appointing the internal management elections committee and is an important member of the party’s standing membership committee, it is vital that the identity of this person be known to all candidates given that the new members continue to be made en masse before the internal elections.
“As a result of these irregularities, I do not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the internal management election committee, nor do I intend to comply with any rules created by a candidate in these elections. A candidate cannot make the rules of an election in which she is contesting. That is unfair.”
Maharaj called for a dissolution of the committee and the establishment of a new one in which members would be nominated after proper consultation with all candidates.