Former prime minister and Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar is facing serious heat inside the party for the five losses at successive elections.
While the party has closed ranks after the latest defeat at the general election, the Sunday Guardian has been informed that UNC members are "disheartened" with Persad-Bissessar and are looking to vote against her in the long overdue internal elections.
The Sunday Guardian has been reliably informed that Persad-Bissessar would be hard pressed to pull off an internal win given the sentiment in the party at this time. One insider said even the latest Persad-Bissessar led challenge of the election results is an attempt to "distract" from the losses at the polls. The Sunday Guardian understands that moves to undermine Persad-Bissessar began in the last year when party insiders realised the UNC was losing favour with the electorate.
"Look at the people who have been in high ministerial offices and let go, they were her main supporters inside the party. Who does she have inside here now?"
The insider named former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, former minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh and former local government minister Chandresh Sharma among those who "had her back" inside the party.
Among those favoured to take over the reins of leadership are Vasant Bharath, Dr Roodal Moonilal and Mickela Panday whose father, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, founded the party.
Moonilal: We are not ready for internal until next year
While the Sunday Guardian was met with silence from several quarters, Moonilal said the UNC would not be ready for internal elections until next year.
"Right now we are really focused on the budget and then there is Christmas which brings the usual lull, so we would not be looking at the internal elections until after that which takes us into next year," he said. Moonilal confirmed that there was some negative sentiment directed to Persad-Bissessar after the successive losses but denied that he was preparing himself to take over the party.
"I mean, if I am called upon to vie for leader and that depends on who is doing the calling too, then I would consider it," he said.
He said right now the party was in "consolidation" mode.
"The internal election would receive our attention in due time," Moonilal said.
Panday: Kamla cannot win, UNC was stolen and ruined
But while Moonilal did not say how he felt about Persad-Bissessar following the losses, former prime minister Basdeo Panday had no such problem.
"I think it's obvious she cannot win an election. I think the people who are the UNC need to take back their party because it was stolen in 2010 and ruined," Panday said.
Panday said the image of the UNC was damaged and now the party was seen as a "bunch of corrupt, incompetent, self-seekers."
He said as it stood now, no one knew who were the real members of the party.
Despite his very negative view of the party he founded, Panday said he was not coaching his daughter to take over the helm.
"I have the fortune or misfortune of having children who are independent minded and cannot be coached," he said. He said that his daughter would have his blessing if she chose to take over the UNC.
Several attempts to reach Mickela Panday were unsuccessful.