Chairman of the Youth Arm of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Virmala Balkaran has resigned from the party.Balkaran also resigned as a member of the interim executive of the ILP.In a letter directed to party leader Jack Warner, Balkaran said her resignation was because the party had "lost its political glow and the novelty and excitement has worn off."In her letter, she also highlighted attacks on ousted member Faaiq Mohammed as a major factor. She described Mohammed's stand against the party as a "conscience vote."
"He was entitled to represent the views of the people that elected him. In the same way as I was duty bound to represent the views of the members of the youth arm, he was duty bound to represent the views of the people. The condemnation and humiliation for expressing a different view is undemocratic and contrary to the principles that I thought this party stood for," she said.She said she was "extremely disappointed" that Mohammed had been "terrorised, intimidated and harassed" since he voted against the ILP.
She also said that the ILP "to the dismay of the youth arm" started recycling politicians."It also poached on the existing cast of UNC members. They found this to be hypocritical and impossible to reconcile with the vision of change that was originally enunciated. The inclusion of certain persons on the executive acted as a repellent and the strong concerns I previously articulated about their frontline involvement were not given due respect or genuine consideration," she said.
Balkaran said the party had been "in a state of decline" since both the local government elections and St Joseph by-election on October 21 and November 4 respectively.
"The mud-slinging and character assassination that have sometimes characterised our political platform has overwhelmed the focus on the real issues that are affecting our nation and in particular, the youths. I have even heard youths go on our platforms and speak in a manner that was not respectful and did not reflect well on the youth membership of the party," she said.She said she could not identify with that type of politics."It became a retrograde step in our politics that takes us backward instead of forward," she said.