Leaders' Debate may not happen
Debates Commission "With respect to recent announcements by political organisations, we advise that an alternative for any of the Leaders invited is not an option. We therefore respectfully reject any alternatives being offered.".
TOMORROW's planned Leaders' Debate is now doubtful, as a result of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar opting out, and Jack Warner's response to not participate.
In a statement issued on the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission's Facebook page today, the TTDC advised that there were no options available to the invited parties, other that for the invited "Leaders" to participate.
The following is the statement issued by the TTDC -
The Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission (TTDC), an independent NGO, has invited the Leaders of the political parties/coalition contesting the 2013 Trinidad and Tobago Local Government Elections to participate in: “2013 Local Government Elections Debates”. The Leaders’ Debate is carded for live airing at 8pm on television and radio on Tuesday 15 October 2013 with the theme Local Government Reform.
With respect to recent announcements by political organisations, we advise that an alternative for any of the Leaders invited is not an option. We therefore respectfully reject any alternatives being offered. Our agreement with the Leaders of the various political organisations invited and with the public mandates that only Leaders participate at the Leaders’ Debate on Tuesday 15th October.
Mr David Abdulah of the Movement for Social Justice has confirmed his attendance. Dr. Rowley of the People’s National Movement has indicated that he will participate if Mrs. Persad-Bissessar’s absence is duly noted and Mr. Warner of the Independent Liberal Party is also present. Mr Warner has insisted that he will not debate without Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The TTDC leaves open its invitation to Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar to reconsider her position and join the others on the debate night. We hope also that Mr Warner will see the importance of debating and participate with or without the leader of the People’s Partnership.
If after continued, concerted efforts to secure Leaders’ participation in the Leaders’ Debate on Thursday (sic) 15th October, the TTDC will be forced to cancel the Leaders’ Debate.