Is this debates commission playing power politics with our elections?
by Phillip Edward Alexander
How could the debates commission in all good conscience include the ILP ‘one man party’ and the MSJ ‘not yet a party’ in the electoral debates and exclude the COP which has seats and corporations under its control?
See why I continue to say that the Chamber of Commerce could NEVER be trusted to handle the debates fairly and without attempting to control outcomes through underhanded moves?
This is an outrage of epic proportions. I am incensed and every Trinidadian should be as well.
And I am no supporter of the COP or its leader; but right is right and if you can include David Abdulah’s imitation ‘wanna be party’ you are morally obligated to include this country’s third largest political party or the entire debate would be a sham.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COP Demands Equal Access to Local Government Debates
Calls on Debate Commission to Reverse Outrageous Decision Restricting Access to Key Public Dialogue
PORT-OF-SPAIN – The Congress of the People (COP) today criticized an arbitrary decision by the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission (TTDC) to exclude the COP from televised local government debates scheduled for October 10 and October 15.
COP officials responded swiftly to the TTDC edict, blasting the commission’s reasoning and asking them to reconsider their misguided decision.
“The COP enters the 2013 Local Government Elections having had 25 incumbents, including two Mayors…while the Independent Liberal Party and Movement for Social Justice, which are included in the debates, have no incumbents,” wrote COP General Secretary Clyde Weatherhead in a weekend missive to the commission.
“In light of the foregoing, the Congress of the People makes a formal request to be included as a party in the [debates],” Weatherhead added.
COP Political Leader Prakash Ramadhar noted that if the TTDC ruling is allowed to stand, thousands of citizens will be effectively disenfranchised from the key public dialogue that the debates represent.
“To allow a political party that received zero votes in the last round of local government elections to participate in this debate, whilst excluding a party that received thousands, would defeat the very purpose of the debates and undermine the legitimacy of the election,” said COP Political Leader Prakash Ramadhar.
“The COP is a longstanding independent political party that has successfully elected dozens of officials to posts at all levels of government,” added Ramadhar. “To arbitrarily block COP access to the upcoming debates would be tantamount to silencing the voices of the thousands of people who elected them.”
If the Debates Commissiion does not rethink this arbitrary silencing of an elected representative body, and does not do the right and decent thing – then We the People of Trinidad and Tobago must boycott any debates and call upon the government and all partnership parties to withdraw from this farce.
Phillip Edward Alexander
Citizen’s Union of Trinidad & Tobago