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No challenge for UNC leadership

By Carla Bridglal

No date has been decided yet for the United National Congress (UNC) internal elections, but incumbent political leader, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, does not seem to be facing any competition—at least not from Trade and Industry Minister Vasant Bharath.
Speaking to reporters yesterday at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain, Bharath said that contrary to a report in yesterday’s Guardian, he has no intention of running for the post, and gave his “total support” for Persad-Bissesar in the elections.
“I can indeed clarify...I have no such intentions. The story is purely concocted, I assume by someone or those who wish to create mischief--I call them merchants of mischief--in attempting to divert the Government from its course of rebuilding this country. There is no truth to the story. I want to assure the entire country that once Kamla Persad-Bissesar is there she has my complete and total support as leader of the party. Anyone will tell you there is no leadership issue, no vacancy for leader as far as we are concerned,” he said.
Persad-Bissessar said the party “will meet to put a date in place” to get the process going.
When asked if she expected any challengers, she said, “It’s a free country.”
Bharath said, for his part, he had not seen any split factions.
“I’m sure the process will be democratic. I’m not considering the position at this time. As far as I’m concerned the position for political leader is not up for grabs,” he said.
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