Progressive Party leader becomes Gary’s NTA deputy

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Nikoli Edwards.

THE National Transformation Alliance (NTA) is breaking new ground as it seeks to become a political umbrella organisation while building its arsenal for whenever elections are called.

Recently NTA’s interim political leader Gary Griffith announced the unveiling of a “governance team.”

Former independent candidate for St Joseph Errol Fabien, a media manager, actor, writer, producer, became the NTA’s director of communication.

Lorraine Pouchet, who served in the tourism sector for over 35 years was named a deputy political leader.

On Wednesday, leader of the Progressive Party, Nikoli Edwards. used social media to announce he would also become a deputy political leader of the NTA, while retaining his substantive position as his own party’s leader.

Even though the holding of executive roles in two political parties may be unheard of in Trinidad and Tobago’s political history, Edwards asked to be given a chance and for citizens not to dismiss this new development as unworkable.

He said the partnership could give the two parties a greater chance of success at the national polls.

He said he had acceded to requests to join forces to present alternatives to the two traditional political parties.

He explained, “Over the years, as political leader of the Progressives, I have engaged with numerous political leaders, independent candidates, members and supporters of other political entities, and both thought leaders and concerned citizens alike about the way forward.

“Following several proposals and offers from other parties and their representatives, members of the Progressives deliberated with open and frank discussions and accepted the opportunity to work with the NTA and its political leader, Gary Griffith.”

While consideration was given to the pros and cons, public perceptions, historical facts, opportunities and challenges that may arise, Edwards said, he felt he made the right choice.

“While we recognise that this is a risky decision, as are all political decisions, we are guided by the idea that with no risk there can be no true reward.

“It is the same courage that led us to launch the Progressive Party in 2019 that now leads us on this new journey.”

He said the Progressive Party would “continue to grow and develop into a formidable organisation” and would “double and triple” its efforts over the next few months “as we prepare to answer the call of the people of this country for a new political dispensation.” He said the party was prepared to return to the streets, where it had heard the views of the people whose support it sought, and could put it in a position to help them.

All of these ideals, he said, would be pursued in close collaboration with the NTA, which represents both a standalone political organisation and an umbrella organisation.

Over the next few weeks and months, he said the mechanics of this developing arrangement would be made public.

Until then, he urged supporters to understand the Progressives and NTA had found common ground on many important philosophical and practical areas, so they could work together in good faith.

“Navigating TT’s political landscape has never been an easy feat. The issues range from a lack of necessary resources, unwarranted attacks by opponents, unreliable pledges and a political system that needs overhauling.

“Nonetheless, we remain committed to the work, as quitting is not an option when TT’s success is dependent on good men and women taking bold action.”