Fixin T&T founder Kirk Waithe is launching a new party in time for the 2020 general election. Waithe, in an interview with Guardian Media on Thursday, confirmed that the activist group has coalesced into NOW (it is not an acronym), a political party vying to run the country for the next five years.
"I think neither the PNM (People's National Movement) nor the UNC (United National Congress) must be allowed to win the next general election. That would redound to the detriment of T&T," Waithe said.
"I think the level of discontent is unprecedented. In 2010 people were fed up of Patrick Manning and they saw Kamla Persad-Bissessar as a ray of light and she came in and proved not to be that ray of light, and then Dr Keith Rowley came in and people saw him as that ray of light and Keith Rowley has proven and continues to prove that he is not that ray of light. And now the country is being offered both as a solution. The country is beyond that."
Despite the successive failures of a third party to break the historic two-party battle on election day, Waithe feels the electorate has either matured enough or is frustrated enough to leave the UNC and the PNM behind.
"I believe in coalition Opposition in 2020. To be clear, when I speak about contributing to being part of creating a coalition Opposition, I mean having both the PNM and UNC occupy the opposition bench together," he said.
Waithe though refused to contemplate a coalition with any of the existing third parties, Congress of the People (COP), Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) or the Independent Liberal Party (ILP).
"The COP was a part of the Partnership, same for MSJ at least in part".
He had "no comment" on PEP and its leader Phillip Alexander.
With regards to the ILP and its founder Jack Warner, Waithe said he would meet with him any day, as long as that meeting took place in the US.
Warner is currently embroiled in an extradition matter over his time at FIFA. Warner recently lost his appeal over the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging the United States extradition request for him.
Warner is still challenging the procedure adopted by the Office of the Attorney General in signing off on the US’s request for his extradition made back in May 2015.
Warner is alleging that this country’s extradition treaty with the US contradicts the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act. They were claiming that, in passing the act, Parliament afforded citizens certain protections which are ignored by the international treaty.
Waithe said he was confident that NOW was ready to go at it alone.
"The people of T&T deserve better, we're too rich to be so poor," he said.
He said that tribal politics had no place in T&T anymore.
"Whether you from Laventille West or Caroni East, you can go to a hospital in this extremely wealthy country and not be guaranteed a bed," he said.
"Despite your race, religion, politics and I believe that when, and I say when, we get the people of this amazing space to understand how blessed we are, how rich we were, how rich we still be yet how poorly we live. I think tribal voting can be overcome. I think it is something that is perpetuated by both political parties. They play to the lowest common denominator. Our intention is to appeal to the best of the Trinbagonian spirit."