Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar predictably won the leadership of the United National Congress (UNC) here on Sunday after Vasant Bharat, considered her main challenger had earlier this month announced that he was no longer contesting the leadership if the party.
According to the preliminary results released Monday by the party’s election management committee, Persad Bissessar, who sought a fresh mandate from the party supporters even though she still had at least one year on her position as party leader, received 20, 328 votes.
She easily defeated legislator and former government minister Christine Newallo Hosein, who polled 114 votes, while Chanda Bhaggan received a mere 45 votes.
Bharat had withdrawn from the race after telling a news conference that the election process was flawed and because of the illegality of the election any UNC member can challenge the results in a court of law. The former minister in the Persad Bissessar coalition People’s Partnership government had also called for the resignation of the UNC’s Elections Management Committee, accusing the members of showing open bias towards the former prime minister.
Another opposition legislator, Ganga Singh, had also questioned whether Persad Bissessar was in breach of the UNC’s constitution by seeking re-election ahead of time.
UNC founder and former leader Basdeo Panday had also criticised Persad Bissessar saying she is breaching the UNC’s constitution.
Persad Bissessar, who was at the helm of the UNC when it lost the 2015 general election to the People’s National Movement (PNM) said she felt confident that her team of new faces and those with experience will be able to come to put the party on a road to victory.
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