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Warner announces new party in T&T

Ria Taitt

Warner announces new party in T&T

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A defiant Jack Warner last night launched his counter-attack, announcing a new party as part of his plan to regain the Chaguanas West seat.
The party is called the Independent Liberal Party (ILP).
Warner spent a lot of time in his speech in Pierre Road, Felicity, dealing with what he saw as the betrayal of the (United National Congress) UNC cabal not only to himself but to the ordinary grassroot member of the UNC.
Warner said the symbol of the party was the sugarcane next to an oil rig, enshrined by two circles.
“The sugarcane represents our coming together from Africa and India and conjuring up images of the struggle from slavery to indentureship from which we have been emancipated and remains a solid remainder that never again will we be enslaved physically, mentally or politically,” he said.
He said sugarcane and the oil rig represen­ted the struggle and tears of the people of Chaguanas West. “The oil is the bloodline of our economy…and with sugarcane, the message is our history will not be forgotten,” Warner said.
Warner said the party’s colour, green, embodied ideas associated with fertility, life and growth. It was the colour of beginnings, he noted, by associating with the colour green, his supporters were demanding a society with “less crime, less corruption, less immorality and much much more integrity”. Green, he underlined, “symbolises a people who are well balanced, in harmony and are of a sound mind, and represents good judgment and morality”.
Warner said following the July 29 by-election, he plans to formally apply, on behalf of the ILP, to become a full-fledged partner in the People’s Partnership coalition Government.  Nevertheless, Warner slammed his former colleagues in the People’s Partnership coalition Government whom, he said, had changed since getting office. 
“Before 2010, they used to walk the streets among you…in those days, they used to give you their phone numbers…and waved to you and your children…. Today, they move around in chauffeur-driven high-priced SUVs and cars — some bought and some leased (a reference to Housing Minister Dr Roodal Roodal) — their faces are no longer friendly, their humility is gone. Their children are no longer going to the same schools as yours, their telephone numbers have changed, and if by chance you get it, the only way you can communicate with them is by text. “That is not the change you voted for on May 24, 2010,” he said, “but that is the represen­tation they want to offer you now in Chaguanas West.” 
Warner told his audience to ask those who have become arrogant about the contracts they farm out to their friends and family who never supported the UNC while it was in opposition and who were now benefitting more than “you the members and supporters”.
“Ask them about the people they have appointed to high office, many with fraudulent CVs, who did nothing for this party and who never stayed loyal when the chips were down but who now eat from the trough of the State while our own people, our own soldiers, are condemned to the throes of poverty,” Warner said. Warner suggested that persons loyal to him were being victimised.
“When they come to talk about loyalty, ask them of the UNC workers they fired and the others whom they are threatening to fire from URP (Unemployment Relief Programme) and CEPEP (Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme). Ask them about the member of gangs in URP they have reduced, so plenty of you cannot get any work. Ask them why they are about to fire some CEPEP contractor who support me, under the guise that they have completed their two-year contracts. How vindictive can they be?” he asked. He said the Government was now attacking him, the police, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the media.
Warner has been one of the dominant personalities in the UNC and has argued that his support, both political and financial, has been critical to the party’s electoral success. Whether any other MPs would join him in his new party remains to be seen. St Joseph MP Herbert Volney on Friday declared his support for Warner, but that was before Warner announced his new party.