ONE of the contenders for the leadership of the United National Congress (UNC) will not rule out the possibility of going to court to ensure the integrity of the election.
Former minister Vasant Bharath said he has already put in the court of public opinion the allegedly dubious establishment of the party’s election committee.
He said his team does not intend to seek legal recourse and hopes it does not come to that. But he said he is not afraid to go to court if it becomes necessary.
“All we are asking for is participation in the composition. Because if you are in charge of the electoral process and you are a participant, and you are also in charge of putting together the election committee – now clearly that, to the most reasonable, would not be a transparent process.
“All we are asking for is a degree of fairness in allowing us to also participate in nominating members for that committee.”
He said this is not a legal process, but a political one.
Nevertheless, he said, “It is an issue that goes beyond the UNC. It puts up a face of what the party looks like to those outside of the organisation, and those are votes that we would need in a general election to win a general election.”
At a news conference on Sunday, Bharath called for independent observers for the UNC’s December 6 internal election. He also called for the general secretary to be identified and for information on the approval of new members weeks before election day.
Told the presence of two lawyers at his news conference on Sunday may have given the impression he was leaning towards mounting a legal challenge, Bharath said, “That was not our initial intention.
“Of course, it may very well lead to that, if we are unable to get any redress. Let’s hope that the party accedes to our request for fairness and transparency and accountability to its members and it does not reach to the courts of TT.”
Asked if, as a contender in the race, he has the authority to make such a request, Bharath said, “As members of the party, and based on allegations of irregularities in the past made by former participants, we are seeking to ensure that the elections are carried out on a free and fair basis.
“We are suggesting we would like to have nominees put forward and considered for the elections committee.”
He said he is not certain such a request had ever been made before, but as members and in the face of irregularities, “We are asking for this to take place.
“It the party does not accede to our request, we will still continue our challenge (for leadership)/
“But what will happen is that the party would be tried in the court of public opinion. We have put it out there to the public and to the membership to put enough pressure on the party to do what seems to be the correct thing in the eyes of a reasonable man.”
Credit: Source link