No alliance

(From left) Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley, MSJ leader David Abdulah, OWTU president general Ancel Roget and PNM Labour Relations Officer Jennifer Baptiste-Primus.

PORT OF SPAIN — There will be no political coalition between the People’s National Movement and the Movement for Social Justice.

Talk of such a political alliance at Wednesday night’s third roundtable session sparked a heated debate and resulted in two groups pulling out of the informal labour, civil and political amalgamation.

The proposal for a political coalition was tabled by Kirk Meighoo of the Domestic National Alliance and Phillip Alexander of the Jericho Project at the meeting at the Ambassador Hotel, Long Circular Road, St. James, but was quickly refused by both parties.

That immediate refusal of the political proposal however led to a split in the group, as Meighoo and Alexander exited the meeting soon after the idea was rejected.

MSJ leader David Abdulah, who chaired the meeting, said there would be no coalition at this time.

“There was a proposal on the way forward that there should be a political coalition emerging out of the roundtable and after extensive discussions, the overwhelming consensus of the roundtable is that this is a coming together of civil society around the issue of Section 34 and the implications of that and that is the common issue and therefore the issue of political coalition just does not arise,” he said.

“That proposal was rejected. We are not about any political coalition, which is what those gentlemen proposed and was what the roundtable said that is not what we are about,” Abdulah said.

Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley said on Wednesday night the two were probably looking too far ahead at this time.

“If you recall, we did say that this issue and other issues on a national governance nature would see us co-operating as entities in the quest of good governance. The whole question of ‘coalition today or I leave the room’ did not find favour this evening,” Rowley added.

But Meighoo said he did not think the proposal was premature in any way and instead called on the two political groups to understand the political ramifications of the current undertaking.

“This is a political movement and it should be organised seriously in a political way. If they want to just keep marching and marching that’s fine, but we want something serious,” he said.

“The population will not be fooled by trying to bring down this government and then what’s left is the PNM. The groups want something more than the PNM next time around,” he said. (Express)

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