Members of the Better United coalition of political parties will be meeting this week to finalise which seats will be contested by each party. COP political leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said the aim is to present a united front.
She said the unity which occurs when parties come together is what brings about major swings, creates excitement and brings people out to vote.
“We recognise that we are going to field all 41 candidates. We recognise that what we are talking about is going in there with a few seats to make meaningful change for TT, by insisting that whoever wants to form the government, must do so with these changes in mind. One of the things we are insistent on as the COP, is restoring power to the Parliament of TT. The Cabinet continues to concentrate the power in the Cabinet, the Executive, and they usurp the Parliament. We believe that development plans must be part of the parliamentary discussion and debate and must not be taken solely in the Cabinet of TT. The Cabinet is the executive and what does executive mean? You execute and therefore you must be called to account for progress in your execution. We want to restore proper representation. We want to restore the power to the Parliament because whatever decisions have been taken must be taken in accordance with the constituents that you represent.”
Progressive Party leader Nikoli Edwards said his party felt the time spent forming a proper coalition would be time wasted when they could be on the ground doing work.
“What we are looking at is finding out from the other parties which seats they are already contesting and ensuring we either don’t have a candidate in there, where we can afford to support their candidate, or at least looking to see where there are candidates on both sides that we can come to some kind of agreement and push the best one moving forward.”
Democratic Party of TT leader Steve Alvarez said finalisation of candidates would take place this week. He said the coalition is strong and it would come together to be a viable alternative to the two main political parties.
Port of Spain People’s Movement chairman Louis Lee Sing said while his party has decided not to contest the election, they would be lending support to the other political parties.
“We have also entered into an agreement with a number of the other small parties that we would not be competing with them, so for example, so you wouldn’t find two parties we are in discussions with contesting a seat, and that includes the MND, the MSJ and other small parties around the country. There is that ongoing arrangement that we hope everyone would honour.”