Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Volney resigns from UNC; remains MP for St. Joseph

File: Herbert Volney
Herbert Volney has resigned as and member of the United National Congress (UNC) but remains the MP for St Joseph. In a letter to the General Secretary of the party the former Justice Minister said he felt that he was no longer wanted in the party. 

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired Volney from cabinet last year, stating that he misled members of cabinet on the Section 34 matter. However the former judge has always stated that he was not treated fairly.
Volney's resignation letter is reproduced below.

July 30, 2013
Mr. Dave Tancoo,
General Secretary,
United National Congress,
Rienzi Complex,

Dear General Secretary,

Last night on live national television I heard the Honourable Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Congress state that her government was still assured of the support of twenty six and possibly twenty seven Members of Parliament. I understood that to be a message to me that the Prime Minister and Political Leader has no interest in keeping me in the fold of her government.

Since my unjust dismissal from her government, the Prime Minister has done nothing to re-engage me with any relevance in her administration and has as Political Leader of the United National Congress equally made no attempt to include me in any form or fashion given that I remain a member of the United National Congress and one of its members of Parliament.

In April 2010 I was approached by the leadership of the United National Congress to join it in the struggle to return good government to Trinidad and Tobago and to contribute towards crime interdiction, criminal justice and offender management reform set out in the then draft manifesto of the People’s Partnership. 

I made the personal sacrifice of opting for early retirement as the senior judge of the criminal courts in order to join the struggle for peace, bread and justice in our land. I campaigned on a platform of returning Trinidad and Tobago to a sense of normalcy in public order by interdiction of criminal activity through the Speedier Justice Initiative. 

The electorate in the swing constituency of St. Joseph with no more than five thousand committed United National Congress supporters gave me 10,835 votes and overwhelmingly returned me as their Member of Parliament.As the Minister of Justice I faithfully engineered criminal justice and offender management reform both in policy development and in statutory interventions like never before. I caused to be developed prototype drawings for presentation to, and received Cabinet approval for the construction of judicial centers across Trinidad and Tobago. I successfully sought and obtained the transfer of the Prison Service to the Ministry of Justice. I helped establish Rise Prison Radio. In the circumstances my termination as Minister of Justice and in the cruel way it was done was a clear indication to me that improper political motives engendered my invitation into the UNC and the partnership platform.

Put bluntly, I was used for my integrity on the campaign platform to help in its electoral success and when it became a problem to the corruption, cronyism, nepotism and oligarchic autocratic rule that was to follow, I was terminated from the government. I was used and abused for the political purposes of the political leadership of the United National Congress. 

The final insult of the Political Leader insinuating that I was not in her twenty six or twenty seven members underscores the need to sever ties where I am no longer recognized for my contribution and where I have become unwelcome.

I accordingly resign with immediate effect from membership of the United National Congress and request that you alter your membership roll to reflect my termination with the party.

I thank the Political Leader and the National Executive for the opportunity to carry the banner of the United National Congress. I did my best for the party and for the government. I will continue to serve my constituents from the Parliament, and I will continue to serve the nation.

As for you, General Secretary, I have always been touched by your sincerity and thank you for it.

Please be guided accordingly,

Member of Parliament for St. Joseph
cc Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Political Leader, United National Congress
Ms. Khadijah Ameen, Acting Chairman United National Congress

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
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