Griffith: Join with UNC, NTA but don’t undermine alliance

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

HAPPIER TIMES: UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and NTA leader Gary Griffith at a joint meeting at the SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain on July 19, 2023. The parties had announced an alliance heading into the local government election. – File photo

NATIONAL Transformation Alliance (NTA) political leader Gary Griffith says political parties are welcome to throw their support behind any other political party. However, he hopes if they join the alliance between his party and the UNC, the parties will not undermine each other.

His comments came in response to the People Empowerment Party’s (PEP) recent move to endorse the UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and to publicly support the party in the next general election.

“Any political party who wants to throw their support behind any other political party, that is their right to do so. The other party can certainly welcome them,” Griffith told Newsday in a voice note.

“However, there is an alliance among political parties at this time. It was the UNC and the NTA. Nothing has changed. So this would be one of him (PEP political leader Phillip Alexander) joining the alliance of the UNC and the NTA.”

If the PEP, or any other political parties, are to come into the fold, Griffith said he hoped they would not create dissent and strain the alliance.

“It is hoped that the political parties that join this alliance will not in any way be involved in attacking or discrediting, because you would be seen as a trojan horse if it is you do that.

“It obviously will not in any way benefit the UNC by having political parties come in where those parties or their leadership would be attacking and discrediting any other party other than the UNC.

“What we’re definitely not going to do as the NTA is get involved in any type of rum-shop talk, tit-for-tat, catfight with any political party.

“The NTA and the UNC, we are moving forward to ensuring a proper government and a proper alliance of political parties.

“And if any political party and political leader comes into this alliance and all they are intent to do is to attack and discredit and pull down other political parties, we would just keep our distance, because we want no part of that type of politics.

“The country is weary and fed-up of that type of politics. They want to see political leaders have the ability to come up with solutions rather than spending all their time attacking anyone who is not in your party.”

The PEP’s statement on March 2 said it believed the country would not do well under a third term of PNM rule. It added that as all other options – including going its alone or joining with other third parties – only helped the current administration, the party decided to use its resources and voice to help the UNC form the next government.