outgoing Members of Parliament

FAREWELL PHOTO: A photographer takes a picture of outgoing Members of Parliament of the Opposition United National Congress on Friday after the dissolution of Parliament at the Red House, Port of Spain. The nation goes to the polls on August 10. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has revamped the United National Congress (UNC) team, letting go ten current MPs and replacing them with new faces to contest the August 10 general election.

The UNC currently holds 18 seats in the Parliament,so far, Persad-Bissessar has replaced ten members and kept eight, including herself.

Those in are:

• Kamla Persad-Bissessar

• Dr Roodal Moonilal

• David Lee

• Rodney Charles

• Barry Padarath

• Rudranath Indarsingh

• Rushton Paray

• Dr Lackram Bodoe

The ten not in are:

• Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie—Caroni Central

• Ramona Ramdial—Couva North

• Fazal Karim—Chaguanas East

• Prakash Ramadhar—St Augustine

• Christine Newallo Hosein—Cumuto Manzanilla

• Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh—Oropouche West

• Dr Tim Gopeesingh—Caroni East (stepped down)

• Dr Fuad Khan—Barataria/San Juan (stepped down)

• Dr Suruj Rambachan—Tabaquite (stepped down)

• Ganga Singh—Chaguanas West (stepped down)

Several members of the Senate will be fighting the election battle, including:

• Saddam Hosein—Barataria/San Juan

• Anita Haynes—Tabaquite

• Sean Sobers—San Fernando West

• Taharqa Obika—Point Fortin

• Chaguanas Mayor Vandana Mohit will be contesting the Chaguanas East seat, replacing Fazal Karim.

Sweeping changes

Before PM Dr Keith Rowley called the election date last Friday, Persad-­Bissessar had already named the candidates for the marginal ­constituencies.

Persad-Bissessar, at a virtual meeting, had signalled her intent to make sweeping changes to the UNC election slate, urging those who are not selected to continue working with the party, and assured there are many posts to be filled once the UNC gets into government.

Persad-Bissessar issued an ­appeal for the electorate to come out and vote. “Vote like never before for a new chance of progress and development for ALL citizens!” she stated in a Facebook post.

The UNC, she stated, has heard the cries of the people and pleas to rescue T&T from “the destructive clutches of the failed, corrupt, cruel, vindictive Rowley Government”.

“It’s been five, long, brutal, punishing years of their impoverishment and pauperisation of the population,” she stated.

Persad-Bissessar added the PNM Government caused over 100,000 citizens to lose their jobs and destroyed T&T’s economic and social stability. “Their budgets have only taxed our citizens into poverty and ruin. Nothing they’ve promised has ever materialised! They’ve only spent billions of taxpayers’ dollars in questionable projects for select, elite friends, family and financiers of the anti-people Rowley Cabinet,” she stated.

Crime, she stated, has escalated to erratic, deadly, unprecedented levels, while no one across the country gets water anymore.

“Bad roads, devastating flooding and the worst health care in our nation’s history define this incompetent, arrogant Rowley regime. They will completely destroy T&T if, God forbid, they ever get another term in office!”she stated.

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Roodal Moonilal has received the endorsement of former Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan as the next leader of the UNC and prime minister.

Speaking at a virtual meeting in Oropouche East on Friday night, Rambachan said he had been a colleague of Moonilal for some time and the ten years he spent with him in Parliament, he learned a lot from him, not only in terms of the management of parliamentary affairs but also in terms of his capacity for building a political institution and for the team he created, especially when he was leader of Government Business in the Parliament.