Jack: Volney did right thing; ILP St Joseph candidate in October
The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate for the St Joseph by-election will be presented to the public by mid-October, says interim party leader Jack Warner.
Speaking to the media during the Parliament’s tea break yesterday, Warner said he was happy that St Joseph MP Herbert Volney took the decision to not launch legal action against the Speaker’s ruling, thereby paving the way for a by-election in December.
On September 9, House Speaker Wade Mark ruled that the St Joseph seat be declared vacant as its MP Volney had resigned from the United National Congress (UNC), whose ticket he won the constituency seat on.
Volney had 14 days to decide whether he would legally challenge the Speaker’s decision.
Yesterday, he indicated that he would not take action and instead seek retirement from politics.
Warner said he was happy Volney had heeded his advice as even if he had won the matter, he would have lost — as expensive lawyers would have been used against him rendering him bankrupt.
Warner disclosed that the ILP had screened five candidates so far — three men and two women.
He said none of the candidates were “recycled politicians”.
Warner said he was confident of an ILP victory in St Joseph based on the growing pace of the party’s membership, and the quality of its members.
He said some of the candidates screened were willing to give up their Canadian and United States citizenship to serve country.
“We have to test the waters out and see what it will prove but I feel confident that there is a place for us out there,” said Warner.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had disclosed that she appointed Minister of Water Resources Ganga Singh as “caretaker” for St Joseph to serve the people in the absence of an MP.
Said Warner, “I don’t know what a caretaker does. I don’t even think Ganga Singh himself knows....What can he deliver to St Jospeh in 90 days or less which Mr Volney couldn’t deliver in three years?”
He said the historic four elections — Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Chaguanas West by-election, local government elections and the St Joseph by-election — signal that the Government was falling.
“I don’t think anywhere in the world this has happened any time and therefore if anything tells me that this Government is on its way out, that does and I remain convinced that the result in each case will be the same- defeat for the Government. The writing is on the wall,” said Warner.
He further criticised the budget contribution of Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie whom he said has a disconnect with the people and should speak in a langauge which they could understand.
He said Tewarie should speak to the people of Laventille and answer their concerns with respect to employment and housing.
“At the end of the day I have no use for those guys, they are false, they are flaky, they are living in an unreal world and they have 15 months to enjoy the perks of office,” said Warner.
Warner added that the ILP screed 516 persons for the October 21 local government elections and the selected candidates will be presented to the public on September 29 at Endeavour lands.
Warner said the ILP will be campaigning for both the local government elections and St Joseph by-election at the same time.