Attorney Larry Lalla has joined calls by several UNC members and former frontliners for UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to resign.
He made the remarks on Wednesday.
Former UNC MP Dr Suruj Rambachan said Tuesday he felt Lalla should become a UNC Senator. Lalla acted in the Senate during the last term. Persad-Bissessar was appointed Opposition leader on Tuesday. Lalla in his statement, said: “In the leader’s concession speech, she said three very important things: that she accepted full responsibility for the loss, that this is the twilight of her political career and that the UNC is in a period of transition.”
“Having accepted the post of Opposition Leader and having said ‘the comeback is normally greater than the setback’, she now seems to be reneging on the words of comfort which she gave and which were welcomed by party members and the national community. For the sake of my party and our country I hope she’s not reneging,” he said.
“When people in an organisation do what we consider to be right, it is important for the organisation and for our own well-being, to give support. Sometimes doing so may temporarily make you unpopular or may earn you temporary foes. But at the end of the day, in this short life that we have, we must try to do right, even when doing so may be difficult.”
“Today I add my voice to those of Dr Fuad Khan, Vasant Bharath, Devant Maharaj, Vashist Maharaj, Kelvin Ramkissoon, Lester Orie and many others and say the time has come for Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar SC to gracefully follow the example set by Dr Tim Gopeesingh and to step away from leadership of the United National Congress.”
Maharaj and Ramkissoon are also attorneys.
Lalla added: “After two successive general election defeats and many others on either side of those, the time has long past for there to be a change of leadership and direction in the party.”
“A political leader of a party must always be a trustee of her or his party and must always put the interests of the party, its members and the country above self and self-interests. I remain committed, as I always have, to serving the party in any way it sees fit.”
Maharaj and Khan whose comments Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday dismissed, also replied to her comments.
Maharaj said she used a charm-offensive which, however, didn’t fool people who wanted substance.
Orie, in his latest commentary on the UNC leadership issue, stated: “One hopes the abbreviated skirt lengths of Kamla and Anita (Haynes) at (yesterday’s) swearing-in were not sartorial statements made to impress the fashionistas that they were hip and chic but that they were symbolic of the longevity of their stay as faces and voices of the UNC.”
Among his points he knocked UNC’s candidate choices: “The most important question to be asked of a prospective candidate is how have you distinguished yourself in the context of Trinidad or if not nationally, how so in your region, in your field of endeavour–as a scholar or benefactor?
“To pick a candidate because one is a party hack, a sycophant, a friend or family, or because of some such reason of nepotism or favouritism isn’t acceptable and is a recipe for defeat–as happened recently.”
UNC officials on Wednesday dismissed comments by Maharaj and Khan saying they were not representative of party members.