Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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NNV entering local govt race
Fuad Abu Bakr says people are gravitating towards “false messiahs,” but insists his political party, the New National Vision (NNV), wants to inspire a new kind of politics where leaders walk the walk and will be fair to everybody. Abu Bakr made the comment after he announced that the NNV will be contesting the local government elections, due by October, and the next general election, which he believes might be sooner than people think. “Given the present political climate and the dynamics taking place, it is highly likely the Government might have to call the election (before 2015). It does not have the confidence of the people,” Bakr, son of Yasin Abu Bakr, told the T&T Guardian.
Commenting on the political scenario, Abu Bakr said, “Some are gravitating towards false messiahs because they are desperate for something different. The lure of financial gain and the impetus of crowd behaviour are other reasons.” Abu Bakr said the July 29 Chaguanas West by-election, in which Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party (ILP) booted the United National Congress (UNC) out of its heartland by a resounding win, had opened up a space. “People need a political party that will provide fair representation to everybody. That is what I am trying to provide. I am pleading with good citizens to get involved,” the 28-year-old Abu Bakr said. The NNV, launched in 2010, contested 12 seats in the general election that year and won 3,000 votes, with a significant portion of them from Laventille West, which the party viewed as a triumph. “We were extremely pleased. People went out and voted for us without incentive. We didn’t carry people to the voting booths and didn’t pay anyone,” Abu Bakr reasoned.
Asked if he felt the national community had forgiven the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen for the bloody 1990 insurrection enough to vote for his party, Abu Bakr said, “That has absolutely nothing to do with me or my party. “The NNV is a separate entity from the Jamaat. My father has even resigned as chairman.” Abu Bakr said the NNV is not comprised of Muslims only and any citizen is free to be a part of it. “I think there are non-Muslims who support us 100 per cent. There’s an old Chinese lady in St James who is a strong supporter. We have Hindus from Barackpore, Christians.” Dispelling any “Islamophobia” about the NNV, he added, “No, we are not a Muslim party and we are not going to implement any Islamic laws. “I need to make that absolutely clear. The prejudice affects us too. We would like to be judged for our actions. I hope people will be mature.” Abu Bakr said he was inspired to form the NNV when he looked at the failure of the UNC and People’s National Movement (PNM) and their disservice to citizens. “I recognised the need for some alternative.” Told other new parties on the scene, like Nalini Dial’s National Coalition for Transformation, are saying the same thing, he said, “We’re walking the walk. “We have just published the $1.5 million in financial contributions we spent on our 2010 general election campaign. We’re asking others to follow suit.” He said the NNV would not contest all the local government seats because it did not have the resources.
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