Paray: I Maybe Committing Political Suicide, but…

Spread the love

Caption: Mayaro MP Rushton Paray with attorneys Larry Lalla, SC, and Kiel Taklalsingh. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

By Prior Beharry

SAYING that he may be committing political suicide, United National Congress (UNC) MP for Mayaro Rushton Paray is calling for internal elections in his party.

He was speaking at a press conference at the Auditorium of the Couva Chamber of Commerce on Friday. 

At the press conference were from left former UTT Chairman Curtin Manchoon, UNC Mayaro constituency executive member Neil Ramnath and former Mayaro Rio Claro Corporation chairman Vedaish Maharaj. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

Paray said, “Before I came here today, I got a call from a colleague.  He said to me,  ‘Rushton what you are doing is committing political suicide.’  I told him, that may very well be the case. After today,  I might very well be an outcast  of our party. But the other option is that I remain silent.  

“But if we all remain silent, then it becomes political genocide for the hundreds of thousands of members and supporters who have found a home in the United National Congress.”

Paray said that UNC internal elections were constitutionally due in June, but no date has been announced as yet.

Asked if he has spoken with UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar about the issue, he replied, “I have been in conversations with the political leader for the last couple weeks. I have also written to her on several occasions on matters that I do feel we need to address as a party before going into the next general elections.”

And what was her response? “Or I am still waiting on her response,” he said.

Some members in the audience in support of Rushton Paray. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

Asked if his ambitions far exceeded his ability in that he has been an MP for fewer than ten years, he has never been a cabinet minister and was a member of the People’s National Movement (PNM) before becoming the UNC MP for Mayaro, Paray described the allegations as “rubbish.”

He said, “This narative of I being a PNM was rubbish. It was political foolishness in 2015. I was screened twice by the UNC executive. They agreed that it was political foolishness as well and that is not an issue today. I remain, I am a loyal member of the UNC.”

Supporting Rushton Paray from left are Karen Lopez, Narmada Ramjit Singh and Shanta Seepersad of the Compass Foundation

He added, “I am a hard worker. The issue around ambition and talent, all I will say is that ambition is the fuel, talent is the track record… anybody wants to measure talent, go Mayaro and find out my record.”

Asked if he has spoken to any of the UNC MPs and were they in support of his he said yes.

Paray said, “I have been in conversation with all of my colleagues. I can tell you that my colleagues are always ready and willing and prepared to listen.

“I have made a clarion call today for all of them to join me in calling for the opportunity to have an election that will allow the party, the members to have a say and allow the party to refresh itself going into a general election in 2025.”

Mayaro MP Rushton Paray with his team. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

Asked if any of them say was supporting him, Paray claimed, “They are all supporting me. Everyone of them. I am not sure who wants to say it now, but I am sure overtime.”

But no sitting UNC MP was at the press conference. On the head table were former chairman of the Couva Tabaquite Talparo Regional Corporation Henry Awong and ex-UNC La Brea general election candidate Victor Roberts. People in the audience included former Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial, senior counsel Larry Lalla, attorney Kiel Taklalsingh, head of the ReUnited Farmers Alliance Davica Thomas, former chairman of the University of Trinidad and Tobago Curtis Manchoon and former chairman of the Mayaro Rio Claro Regional Corporation Vidaish Maharaj.

Paray denied he has had a clash with Persad-Bissessar, saying the party must renew itself with a better version where all its organs were working.

The Mayaro MP said the membership of the party will decide who will carry it into the next general elections.

Asked if he could be political leader, Paray said, “I am very capable and competent to occupy any post that is offered to me based on my ability and talent. 

“If the membership feels that my ability and talent could put me in any position, they I will accept… I have a contribution to make to the development and the strengthening of our party and I have a contribution to make to the development of Trinidad and Tobago and I am not going to put myself out of that opportunity.”

Support journalism. AZP News is an independent news organisation that is not affiliated with any big business and depends solely on advertising to pay our bills. Therefore, we are asking for the generosity of our readers to help us with small donations of any amount, but we will be happy with $20, $50 or $100. Click Here to Donate


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *