On the heels of resigning as Congress of the People (COP) deputy chairman, Vernon De Lima yesterday said National Security Minister Jack Warner was in a worse position than former Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) executive chairman Calder Hart.
De Lima resigned as COP deputy chairman on Monday, one day after his motion which called on the Prime Minister to fire Warner from her Cabinet was defeated at the party's national council meeting by a 91-6 vote.
Instead, De Lima's motion was amended to call for Warner's removal from the Cabinet-minus De Lima's ultimatum that the COP would leave the government.
Speaking on TV6's Morning Edition programme yesterday with host Fazeer Mohammed, De Lima said his resignation was not the end of his political life and there was a possibility that he may contest the COP's internal elections or field a slate of candidates in six weeks as he remains a party member.
Some 16 COP executive positions will be contested.
The post of political leader will not be contested.
De Lima said he intentionally included the ultimatum in his motion as he wanted to emphasise the importance of the matter as he pointed out that although the COP had called for Warner's removal on previous occasions, no action was taken.
Instead he was promoted to National Security Minister.
"Here is a man who stands accused...criminal allegations are made against him, he stands in the same light, as far as I'm concerned as Calder Hart," said De Lima.
"I will tell you why I say that, both of them are being investigated by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, he's worse than Calder Hart because he's also being investigated by the United States of America, he's being investigated by FIFA," he said.
"In those circumstances how could it be at all that this gentleman is appointed to be the minister in charge of the police who have to investigate him, it is himself to himself...in those circumstances it is a dangerous situation," De Lima added.
He noted that both COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar and chairman Joseph Toney have called for Warner to step down.
"When (Warner) was appointed Minister of National Security...I got up a the (national executive) meeting and said, come on man, what the hell is going on?" said De Lima.
This is why, he said, he did not agree to have his motion amended on Sunday when called upon to do so.
He said he knew then his motion would be defeated.
But De Lima said that the voting was based on a delegate system and did not represent the masses of the COP membership.
De Lima was guarded about his future plans, saying only that a lot could happen in six weeks in the lead-up to the COP internal elections.
He also said that he had no problem with Ramadhar but admitted that he was disappointed in the voting.
De Lima also said that he continues to hold the Prime Minister in high regard.
"I still have a lot of respect and regard for the honourable Prime Minister...that is why I have no problem at all in being vehement in this motion publicly and otherwise, I am not afraid of anybody," he said.
"People tell me how you could be like that against Mr Jack Warner...I have nothing against Mr Jack Warner, I find he is a very charming fella but so is Calder Hart...I met (Hart) once, very charming fella, but long before I knew anything about this man. But the point is what is correct is correct and what is wrong is wrong," he added.