Saturday, January 20, 2018

Kamla must resign before election, says senior counsel

A supporter at the UNC Congress meeting at the Shiva Boys' Hindu College, Penal on Tuesday night. Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Senior counsel Israel Khan yesterday advised Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to politically destroy Vasant Bharath and deal with the “neemakarams” in the United National Congress (UNC).

In an open letter to the former Prime Minister, Khan offered free legal advice to Persad-Bissessar and advised that she resign as UNC political leader before she contests the leadership election on November 26.

He opened stating that he penned the letter at 10 a.m. yesterday before the UNC National Executive meeting to decide whether the party's constitution permits Persad-Bissessar to contest the position of political leader before her term as leader expires or becomes vacant.

Khan stated that as a “citizen living in Trinidad and Tobago with a strong belief in the rule of law, I give you and your party the following immediate pro-bono advice”:
1. If you do not resign as political leader of the UNC before your election to that post, your election would be ultra vires the U.N.C. Constitution and thus illegal.
2. And Section 83 (2) of the Constitution would not affect your position as Leader of the Opposition if your present position as Leader of the UNC becomes vacant for a few days in order to facilitate your re-election.

Khan stated that if Persad-Bissessar does not adhere his advice with respect to resigning as political leader before she contests the post “You will be sending the wrong signals to the floating voters on the East-West corridors and other marginal areas that you are more concerned with consolidating your position as Leader of the U.N.C. and Opposition leader than adhering to the principles and rules of your Party's Constitution: And if you are prepared to breach your party's Constitution then you cannot be trusted to head a cabinet which will adhere to the spirit and rule of law of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago,”.

Khan, describing himself as an “armchair politician” advised further that Persad-Bissessar should concentrate on flushing out the so-called, if any, UNC Members of Parliament whom Bharath says are in secret support of him displacing her as UNC leader and Opposition leader.

Bharath told the Express on Monday that there are more than five UNC Parliamentarians who have pledged support to him and were secretly working to help him in his campaign against Persad-Bissessar.

Khan stated “If it is true, then you must deal with these traitors decisively and effectively – they must never see the corridors of political power,”.

He stated that the mere fact that Bharath can state to the public that there are six “neemakaram” UNC MP's against Persad-Bissessar's leadership, he must be “politically destroyed once and for all – if he is lying to the public,”.

“Nothing is wrong with others contesting the leadership position in the U.N.C., but it must be done openly and not with secret and underhand support. It must not be done surreptitiously.

And always remember that in politics nothing succeeds but success itself,” stated Khan.

“On the other hand, you can ignore all of the above and listen to the sycophants within your party who tell you what they believe you want to hear in order to hold on to status and position so they can eat ah food,” he stated.