T&T Politics Not Tribal – Kamla

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By Prior Beharry

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says politics in Trinidad and Tobago is not tribal.

She was speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Report at the Preysal High School.

Persad-Bissessar said, “The notion that people want something other than the PNM or UNC or that our politics is tribal is not true.

“The concept, the notion that some peddle about that people want something other than the UNC or the PNM, meaning people want them, that’s what that means. And then say a vote for us is a tribal vote. It is not true.”


She said, “That is more of a talking point used by people seeking to forge a political space that has never been carefully analysed.

“Democracy rules allow each person to vote or not vote. They do not specify how you must vote. Some persons are single-issue voters, some people come out and vote, you know why because crime is at an all time high, some will come out an vote about wages, some will vote on infrastructure, some will vote on other issues; you have single issue voters.”

Persad-Bissessar added, “And you have multi-issue voters.The UNC has all of these voters within us.

“It is up to the parties to present an argument to get these votes – whether single voters, single issue voters or/and multi-issue voters.”


She said, “Our national voting patterns also reflect single and multi-issue voters, and we must say so since some third parties campaign on this false idea, the false notion, the false concept that a vote for UNC or a vote for the PNM is racially motivated.”

Persad-Bissessar said, “So in their own breadth they are condemning these two major parties in this country by saying they represent something different.”


She said, “There is a great amount of diversity in both our parties. Look at this crowd here tonight. This is a UNC crowd, look at the diversity here tonight. It reflects our society as a whole.”

Persad-Bissessar added, “There may be policies that are pursued by this government that we say are geographically motivated, geographic discrimination and so on…”

She said people who vote UNC were not voting for race but for issues and policies.”


Persad-Bissessar said in the journey for the next general elections, the UNC must embrace individuals and groups, but they must carry their weight.

Persad-Bissessar said, “Smaller parties must be willing to work and carry their weight. It cannot be that UNC supporters must be sheep, must do everything, UNC must host the events, UNC must provide the resources, UNC must bring the supporters -bring the sheep – and then these other organisations want to come and hands swing and stand up on the platform and talk.”

She told those who want to join the UNC, “You must carry your weight. We are a strong party we have over 300,000 plus supporters, do not play the fool with us. We respect our membership.”

Persad-Bissessar said, “We have to work together yes, but other must say what is your membership?

“Did you have an election? My executive is an elected national executive by the membership of this great party.

“I didn’t name myself leader and then pick up five and make them deputy. You all, this whole Natex was voted in a democratic election.”


She said, “Other parties yes, tell us your membership. Tell us how you became leaders of that party.

“Tell us about your party structures. Are you capable or having independent events?

“You have to bring something to the table and not just a social media presence. Social media don’t win vote… it’s warm bodies with a voting finger… that is where the votes come from.”

She called on the parties host events and build their leadership.

“You can’t come and take my 300,000 plus UNC supporters and you can’t tell me how many you have.”



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