FORMER prime minister Basdeo Panday said the Patriotic Front (PF) is not seeking to woo the “fanatical” supporters of the United National Congress (UNC) or the People’s National Movement (PNM).
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Panday said the PF is being attacked on social media and accused of attempting to split the votes, when this is not the case.
“Since the announcement of the Patriotic Front that the party will be contesting the next election, I have noted, not surprisingly, that the attacks have been coming mainly from a particular quarter. The attacks are centred on the presumption that the Patriotic Front will divide the votes. Whose votes? We have made it quite clear that we intend to mobilise the people who do not support either of the two main parties,” stated Panday on Facebook.
“We shall not attack them nor spread rumours, lies, or half-truths about either of them. If you are part of the fanatical support of either of those parties you may continue to vote for them. If you think we shall split your votes then those were not truly yours in the first place. Our goal is to mobilise that section of the electorate, particularly the young people, that want neither of you,” he added.
Panday told the Express that the PF is seeking to get the 50 per cent of the electorate who do not vote for the UNC and the PNM to come out and vote and create real change.
“We said we were not after the fanatical votes of either the PNM or the UNC. We said we are trying to mobilise that group of people which consists of that 50 per cent who do not vote for either of them,” he said.
He said it’s possible that the PF’s attackers are afraid of losing votes they never had in the first place.
He said the party plans to contest all 41 seats and they’ve already hit the ground.
Panday is the founding father of the UNC.
Asked about the feedback on his new role as PF campaign manager, Panday said it has been overwhelming.
“It’s tremendous. We have been receiving a lot of calls, communication in which people are offering their support and those are the people who really want a change in the society from the present musical chairs that takes place in the Parliament,” he said.
He said the attacks will be ignored.
“The Patriotic Front should not be regarded as an attack on them but as an attack on the political system. What is happening in the country is two major parties are playing musical chairs in the Parliament and look at the level of the debate and the fact that they have alienated the youths of society.”
He said the PF will bring the youth forward in the political process in a meaningful way.