Leader of Opposition business in the Senate Wade Mark has made it known he is available to "continue to play" his role "inside and outside of the Parliament" in building the UNC.
Mark told the Guardian of his position in between yesterday's Senate sitting. Changes among UNC's current Senate team, including Senate team leader Mark, have been tipped by members of the new UNC Executive, headed by leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Among those tipped to enter the Senate are UNC deputy leaders Suruj Rambachan and Lyndira Oudit. The latter was removed by outgoing Opposition leader Basdeo Panday two weeks ago. Oudit's Senate seat was declared vacant and she was replaced by PSA vice-president Christopher Joefield. The latter was sworn in and took his Senate place yesterday. A question filed by Oudit on yesterday's Senate agenda, concerning illegal quarry operating, fell by the wayside since she was not in the Senate. However on Monday, Persad-Bissessar said reinstatement of Oudit and two fired Opposition officials were to be considered at yesterday's UNC caucus.
In between yesterday's Senate session Senator Mark was asked by the Guardian about the possibility of being removed. Mark, who has been a UNC Senator since October 1990, said: "As a strong and disciplined party member and as an established team player, it is the prerogative of the Opposition Leader to appoint and/or disappoint any Senator, inclusive of myself. "As soldier in the UNC army, I am available to continue to play my role and part in contributing towards the building of this great party both inside and outside the Parliament and as it seeks to provide T&T with a viable, progressive, acceptable political alternative to the corrupt bankrupt, incompetent and dying Manning administration,". Prior to the start of yesterday's Senate session Mark and other UNC MPs received some picong from PNM Senators, including PNM's Jerry Narace and George Hadeed.
Narace went over and shook Mark's hand, chatting with him at length with broad grins. Hadeed, with some laughter, quipped to Mark and UNC Senators about the session, that it might be their "last day in the Senate." UNC Senator MF Rahaman who had offered his resignation to Persad-Bissessar on the weekend, which she rejected as "premature," said yesterday he had always felt Persad-Bissessar was the likely successor to Panday. Rahaman said he had written about that in letters to the editors of various papers over the years. Rahaman added: "People may not know my writings about her and might feel I'm sucking up now so to speak, but then, as now, I had felt Kamla was competent and she was a very good mechanism to bring the interests of the country in favour of the UNC, particularly where gender appeal was concerned. "You can check the newspaper records and you will see where I made those points before. "However I did not anticipate the power of propaganda in the UNC election. We wait to see how she deals with the issue of the 'hand within the glove' because that concerns me greatly as that force belongs to a force I do not trust."