Griffith: Kamla “farse and out of place” to make comments about smaller parties and their executive

Home*Cover Story*News

Griffith: Kamla “farse and out of place” to make comments about smaller parties and their executive

National Transformation Alliance (NTA) leader Gary Griffith has called Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar “farse and out of place,” over statements she made at a Cottage Meeting concerning smaller parties.

During UNC’s Cottage Meeting on Monday night in Preysal, Persad-Bissessar charged that small parties must work hard and not demand any positions, and she will also not tolerate any disrespect to UNC members.

She said further that the UNC executive is an elected body, unlike parties where leaders appoint themselves and name deputies without elections.

Although she did not call names, it was apparent Persad-Bissessar was talking about the NTA and Griffith, with whom the UNC had partnered with to fight the local government elections last year.

In response, Griffith told media she was “farse and out of place” to make comments about parties and their executive.

He also added that Persad-Bissessar was not the real problem but UNC Senator and deputy leader Jearlean John, who believes the UNC has the mettle to win a ­general election on its own.

Persad-Bissessar: “Smaller parties must be willing to work and carry their weight. It can’t be that the UNC supporters must be sheep, must do everything, UNC must host the events, UNC must provide the resources, UNC must bring the supporters, bring the sheep, and then these other organisations want to come and swing in and stand up on the platform and talk.

“You must carry your weight. We are a strong party. We have over 300,000-plus supporters. Do not play the fool with us. We respect our membership,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said in the days of former prime minister and UNC leader Basdeo Panday some supporters were treated like sheep and did not have a voice, as they just had to sit in the crowd at Rienzi Complex while “one or two fellas” talk to the “sheep”, and she changed this under her leadership.

Persad-Bissessar also refuted the notion that voting for the UNC or the PNM is “tribal”.

Griffith said Persad-Bissessar is starting to operate like Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Government Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, where someone mentions information to discredit others but no names are called.

He said Persad-Bissessar should call names and not make “wild accusations”.

Griffith said as NTA political leader he actively campaigned with the UNC during the local government election, and the party continues to pull its weight.

“To have the audacity to now try and measure the performance and the capability of another political party, this is unfortunately exactly what caused the collapse of the People’s Partnership in 2010 to 2015—blatant disrespect,” he said.

Griffith said he has one problem—Jearlean John—and he hopes UNC hierarchy advised Persad-Bissessar that what is being done is a “deliberate sabotage attempt to ­ensure that the PNM will win”.