Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bas not voting in local election

File: Basdeo Panday - quoted from the UNC internal election in 2010
The Guardian newspaper on Saturday quoted former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday as saying that he will not vote in Monday's Local Government Election (LGE).

If that is so it would be the first time since 1965 that the founder of the the United National Congress (UNC) would not vote in an election. 

Panday's reason is his disappointment with the state of politics in the country and the lack of constitutional reform, the paper reported. 

"I have been voting consistently since 1965, but this year I will not be voting. Voting under the present constitution is an exercise in futility,” the paper quoted Panday as saying on Friday.

It added that Panday does not think there would be any change after the election, noting that the political system is flawed. "I can vote for the party I founded, but I would want to know why I should vote, would there be change. As far as I can see there would not be change."

The paper reported that Panday said no one can blame councillors when they cannot get things done because they have to operate within a a broken system.

"That is because the Government releases money when and how and why they want. So unless there is meaningful reform, including local government reform, voting is an exercise in futility. It has been so for the last 50 years and it is time we change the constitution. 
I believe constitutional reform is the single most critical problem facing the country,” Panday told the paper.

He is also unhappy with the political leadership. "I believe sometimes people and countries get into a slide and they cannot stop until they hit rock bottom. We are soon going to hit rock bottom, politically and out of the ashes, the phoenix will rise, hopefully better this time around," he stated.

The leaders of both the UNC and ILP have praised Panday during the LGE campaign. Panday's brother, Subhas, is a member of the ILP and has been highly critical of the People's Partnership.

UNC Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has praised Panday for his vision and leadership. 


Panday founded the UNC based on the Aranguez Mandate that was handed to him on October 16, 1988 by thousands of supporters.

Read the commentary by the UNC's founding chairman:

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai