Devant Maharaj said he has found evidence of collusion between UNC’s Internal Elections committee and party leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
In a letter to Ramesh Persad-Maharaj, Chairman of UNC’s Internal Management Elections Committee, which was shared to social media, Maharaj said the incumbent leader and candidate, Kamla Persad-Bissessar has made statements, which are in the public domain, that tends to suggest to the reasonable observer that she and her lawyers apparently played a part in the drafting of the Election Rules.
He told Persad-Maharaj that “Given such a serious issue regarding the transparency of the election, I note that neither Ms. Persad Bissessar nor yourself have sought to deny that she did in fact play a role with unnamed lawyers in the drafting of the election rules with haste and urgency.
Maharaj said as result, he is forced to conclude that there is indeed toxic collusion between the Internal Management Election Committee and Persad Bissessar in the conduct of this election.
He further stated in the letter: “Additionally only this week Vasant Bharath via the media indicated that potential candidates on his slate after submitting nomination forms for scrutiny by the Internal Management Elections Committee was contacted by Ms. Persad Bissessar or her supporters to in an attempt dissuade them from contesting the internal elections. If this is indeed factual how did election rivals obtain copies of nomination forms given to the Internal Management Elections Committee only supports the perception that there is an unethical collusion between the Committee and one particular candidate.
Maharaj then added that it is his view that:
a. A candidate should not be involved in the drafting of election rules unless other candidates are included in the process.
b. It is highly questionable that you would affix your signature to the rules to certify that the rules were issued by the Election Committee when the recording of Ms. Persad Bissessar clearly suggests that she and her unnamed team of lawyers were involved in the drafting of a manual on the day before the Election Manual was released.
c. I am not satisfied that you and/or your committee can discharge your functions as election Chairman in a fair and impartial manner. It seems that you and your committee are not in control of the process but are taking instructions from Ms. Kamla Persad Bissessar.
d. I have also been legally advised that if you and your Committee have facilitated the involvement of a candidate in obtaining an unfair advantage in this election process then you and your committee can be sued in your personal capacity for such conduct. That would result in you and the members of your committee incurring personal liability for your actions. I am no stranger to the court, and I am in the process of retaining lawyers to institute action if necessary.
Maharaj said given the circumstances, therefore, he is calling upon Mr Persad-Maharaj and his committee to immediately resign from the election committee.
He then gave them 24 hours to arrive at a decision.