THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is no longer a member of the People's Partnership Government.
And its political leader, David Abdulah, intends to tender his resignation as a Government Senator.
The decision, he said yesterday, was not up for review or reconsideration.
However, he said he will not refuse to attend a meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to discuss the MSJ's concerns.
Abdulah described the MSJ as the glue that kept the coalition together and his role as referee among the five political leaders.
Abdulah announced that the political party would remove itself from the coalition government in a press conference at the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) headquarters, Paramount Building, San Fernando, yesterday.
The MSJ was one of the five political parties, including the United National Congress (UNC), Congress of the People (COP), National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) and Tobago Organisation for the People (TOP), in the People's Partnership Government.
The MSJ national executive met last Saturday to discuss the party's concerns and its Activist Council took the decision yesterday, Abdulah said.
"As a consequence the MSJ would not be in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and therefore I will be tendering my resignation as a Senator to the Prime Minister," he said.
Abdulah said a copy of his statement was e-mailed to Persad-Bissessar before the press conference which began at 1.15 p.m.
He said a formal letter of resignation will be forwarded to Persad-Bissessar.
Abdulah said former political leader Errol McLeod was also informed of the party's decision.
McLeod is attending a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and is expected to return today.
McLeod said yesterday that he will not be leaving the coalition government.
Abdulah said McLeod, as Minister of Labour, had a mandate to reform labour legislation and the MSJ would support any policy which was positive and in the interest of the working class and trade union.
"We have not taken this decision lightly or easily. We recognise that we have a responsibility to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago as we were an integral part of the partnership that campaigned in 2010 and asked you to vote for the Partnership to be your government. We do not regret that decision. It was the right thing to do at that time. As it is the right thing for us to now withdraw from the Partnership," he said.
Abdulah said following his statement on May 21, three days before the People's Partnership celebrated its second anniversary, that the MSJ would not be attending the rally and would remove members from State boards, he expected that a meeting would be called with all political leaders.
"We thought that if having regard to the serious statement that we made and the statement by the political leader of the COP at the celebrations in Chaguanas, that there would have been a meeting of political leaders. I suggested it will be useful for leaders to meet. Nothing has happened. If certain things had begun to happen during that month which would have suggested that concerns would be taken seriously, then perhaps we could say that more time was required, but that did not happen," he said.
He said two bilateral meetings were held with the COP to exchange ideas and concerns and none were held with the other three political parties in the coalition.
Abdulah said he wanted to announce that the MSJ had removed itself from the coalition before Labour Day celebrations tomorrow.
"So no complication between the activities of the trade union movement and position of MSJ as political party will arise. We felt that it would be important to make a statement before Labour Day and workers can be encouraged to join the MSJ as we go forward," he said.
Abdulah said the MSJ will now begin to build a mass political party that can offer itself to the electorate, as a serious alternative to the traditional parties.
"An alternative that is non-ethnic, non-discriminatory and that pursues policies that bring about social justice as we, as a people, have affirmed in the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago," he said.
Abdulah said the MSJ debated extensively whether building the party could best be done within the coalition of the People's Partnership or outside.
He said the time had come for the MSJ to paddle its own canoe.
"We recognise that to do this, to build a mass party that is non-ethnic and which does not depend on the largesse of the state or powerful financiers, is not an easy task. We could have taken the line of least resistance and gone with the flow, but we have decided that if we truly believe in changing the governance of the country we must now walk the talk," he said.
Abdulah said the party's mission could not have been accomplished by simply resigning as a Senator.
He said the MSJ will now focus on walkabouts, cottage meetings, public forums and other activities over the coming weeks.
And he extended an invitation to all citizens unhappy about the state of governance in the country to join the MSJ to bring about real change.
Persad-Bissessar was at her private residence in Phillipine, near San Fernando yesterday.
Security guards referred the media to her communications personnel.