Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the United National Congress (UNC) will begin screening of candidates for general election soon.
"We have established our screening committees–certainly we have begun screening of local government persons, but that would now have to include persons for the general elections–very shortly," she said. Persad-Bissessar was speaking with reporters after the Shouter Baptist Liberation Day celebrations held at the Maloney car park, Churchill-Roosevelt Highway yesterday. Her remarks comes after Prime Minister Patrick Manning declared that he was putting T&T on an election mode. He made the declaration at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre last Saturday, when the PNM held its special convention, saying that the party would start screening of 41 candidates from April 7. Commenting on Manning's assurance that he was not joking about putting the party on election mode, Persad-Bissessar expressed displeasure over the assurance. "It's a sad day in a country when you cannot believe what the Prime Minister of the country has to say...when the prime minister would make a serious statement on one day, and then on another day, say I am not joking," she said.
"Imagine he has to try to convince people he is not joking. I have said before don't 'back back.' I call on the Prime Minister again, do not 'back back.' "The people want the chance to exercise their franchise, and you must seek a fresh mandate because there is so much that has happened, the nation is in a crisis–come back, go back to the polls." Referring to the state of readiness of her party, Kamla said the party was prepared. She earlier told members of the Baptist community that when she was successful in the general election, she would build the school which was promised to them. "I pledge that together with you, I will help build our school here when we form the next government," she said. "As before, as always, I stand ready to work with you to realise the dream we started a decade ago."