Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has told Jack Warner he would meet with him after the St Joseph by-election, which is on November 4.
Speaking at a public meeting on Thursday night, the Independent Liberal Party leader said he had called Maharaj because it was time for the re-formation of the “RamJack” platform, consisting of Maharaj, Warner and Winston “Gyspy” Peters.
The “RamJack” platform was successful in getting then United National Congress (UNC) leader Basdeo Panday to call internal elections. Leading up to those elections, however, Warner opted to support Kamla Persad-Bissessar, not Maharaj, for the political leadership of the party.
Yesterday, Maharaj told the Express Warner called him on Thursday for the first time since 2010, saying he wanted to meet with him to discuss what happened in the past, among other things.
Maharaj said Warner did not mention anything about a return of “RamJack” during this conversation “and there was no agreement on that matter”.
Maharaj said he told Warner he was no longer interested in electoral politics but that he had been meeting with leaders of the opposition parties since 2010 on matters of governance, law and democracy.
“Mr Warner is the interim leader of a new political party and I think I have a duty to meet with him.”
Maharaj said Warner told him he was sorry for not taking his advice in respect of Persad-Bissessar.
Maharaj said he (Maharaj) had taken the position when Warner dissolved the platform for change (the RamJack platform) that he had made a grave error.
“Because we (the RamJack platform) had been telling the party that if Kamla became the leader of the UNC and ultimately the Prime Minister, the country would regress (We had been telling the party that). She was not ready for leadership roles in either the party or the country because of her track record and because of some of the things that Warner had said on the (RamJack) platform,” Maharaj recalled.
Maharaj said during his conversation with Warner on Thursday, he told him that he (Warner) had been responsible for Persad-Bissessar being Prime Minister and therefore he also had to take responsibility for what was happening in the country.
He said Warner said he was sorry.
Maharaj said he (Maharaj) intends to launch an organisation called “Democratic Watch” in the middle of November.
The organisation would be aimed at political education in respect of governance, he said.
He added the organisation would be speaking with leaders in opposition parties and other leaders in the country.
Maharaj said although he was disappointed at the time of the dissolution of the RamJack platform, that Warner didn’t see that his action was not in the country’s interest, he was prepared to put country first.
“He (Warner) was put under pressure (at that time) because Winston Dookeran had said that the only persons he would work in the UNC with were Kamla and Warner,” Maharaj recalled.
Maharaj said because he knew the country would be in trouble, he tried to assist by being a candidate for the Tabaquite constituency in the 2010 general election. But during the screening, he said, when Persad-Bissessar asked if he would do the same thing all over again if the government was corrupt and he was attorney general, he said he would oppose corruption even more vehemently.
He was not selected as a candidate.
Maharaj said he understood that “Mr Crime Watch Politician” (Ian Alleyne) said defamatory things about him and his family on the UNC platform on Thursday night.
He said he has asked for a report and if these statements constitute a breach of the civil or criminal law he would take the necessary action.
Maharaj added that he reserved the right as a citizen to go into the constituency of St Joseph and give the constituents his opinion on the requirements of a good member of Parliament.