Estranged UNC MP Jack Warner has gone from the now-defunct "Ramjack-G" faction to "Kamjack-G," via his new alliance with leadership aspirant Kamla Persad-Bissessar, UNC MP Roodal Moonilal said yesterday. And UNC MP Subhas Panday has warned: "MP Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, who Warner has dropped like a hot potato, should know by now that with friends like Warner, you don't need enemies...I say to others now in Maharaj's previous position, beware!" Moonilal and Panday were among several UNC MPs who said they were not surprised that Warner was supporting Persad-Bissessar's bid to wrest the leadership from incumbent Basdeo Panday. Panday, in London, did not reply to cellphone calls yesterday.
Warner, who is contesting the post of chairman–which Panday also holds–declared his support for Persad-Bissessar on Wednesday, deeming her "his sister...." "We were not surprised, we had a sense that would have been a natural occurrence," Moonilal said. "The only other matter of interest is that Mr (Ramesh) Lawrence Maharaj is now outside in the graveyard since Mr Warner has gone from Ramjack-G to Kamjack-G. It's the first time Ram has been banished since the holy Ramayan." Subhas Panday said: "Jack took Ramesh for the longest ride in history, and then gave him a high fall. "Jack used Ramesh to mash up the UNC and now Jack has dropped him...That is something for everyone–from Jack's new friends to UNC voters–to ponder on," he added.
UNC MP Kelvin Ramnath said: "Warner's support of Persad-Bissessar appears to have obviously been something that was pre-arranged. "I said yesterday that I feared he was using her so it comes as no surprise that he's declared his support," he said. "I believe totally that she is being sponsored by Warner. Warner has been the one who has been supporting her in the first instance." MP Vasant Bharath said: "No one should be surprised...Mr Warner has continually jumped from horse to horse depending on which one he believes will reach the finishing line first. "I wouldn't be surprised if he jumps again to someone else if Persad-Bissessar's chances waned in the next few weeks," he added.
Persad-Bissessar said yesterday that Warner was not among her financiers. "In fact, I have not spoken to Jack up to now," she said. She said financing for her election campaign was coming from "family, friends, supporters and fund-raising activities." Persad-Bissessar continues campaigning with a meeting at Barrackpore East Secondary School on Monday. She also holds a toy-distribution drive through various areas this weekend. Her campaign team said yesterday that her campaign slogan was "Vote for Kamla because we deserve better." Sources close to Warner said yesterday that Warner was likely to be on Persad-Bissessar's slate.
Maharaj responds: UNC leadership contestant Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj said yesterday that Jack Warner's support of Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not affect his relationship with him. Maharaj said: "He remains my friend. He's entitled to exercise his constitutional right. But Mr Warner knows I have stated to him that I'm committed to ensuring the UNC base remains with the UNC and we must have accommodation and unity."