By Sue-Ann Wayow
CONTENDER for the post of political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) Vasant Bharath is questioning the validity of a member of the opposing team to contest the election.
Bharath wrote the chairman of the UNC internal election committee Ramesh Persad-Maharaj in a letter dated November 30 stating his concerns about Monifa Russell Andrews who is contesting the post of research officer on Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s Star team.
He cited Article 19 of the party’s constitution which states, “No person shall be elected to hold any office in the party or to represent the party at any level who has not been a member of the party for at least 12 months.”
Bharath wrote, “This article creates a plain, unambiguous and uncontroversial prohibition against any person being elected to the National Executive that has not been a member of the United National Congress for a preceding period of 12 months. In this regard, my team has conducted a search of the ‘Final’ Voters List produced in accordance with the election rules, which should contain the listing of all members of the United National Congress (UNC) and has been unable to locate the name Monifa Russell Andrews.”
He stated, “Should Ms Andrews not be a bonafide member of the United National Congress (UNC) and/or member for the past 12 months, then you would no doubt agree that she cannot be a candidate in the upcoming internal elections.”
Bharath requested from the chairman evidence of Russell Andrews membership of more than 12 months.
However, during a virtual meeting on Monday night, Persad-Bissessar UNC’s present political leader produced the membership card for Russell Andrews that shows she has been a member of the party since June 2015.
Calling Russell Andrews unto the platform, Persad-Bissessar said, “Monifa Russell Andrews is a member of our party. This is her party card.
“She is running for research officer. They are now saying that Monifa cannot contest any post on the national executive because you have to be a member for a year. Monifa Russell Andrew issued June 2015.”
She said, “They are looking for all kinds of excuses and reasons because they know the licks coming. When they get the cut-skin on Sunday, they are making the excuse up in front.”