Jack: ILP here to stay
By JULIEN NEAVES Tuesday, October 22 2013
A SULLEN, tired-looking Independent Liberal Party (ILP) interim leader Jack Warner last night conceded defeat in the Local Government election as he spoke to a smattering of supporters at ILP headquarters, Mulchan Seuchan Road in Chaguanas.
“I would like to congratulate the UNC and PNM for their victories in the Local Government election. Now is not the time for long faces. I want to tell you that we, a four-month-old party have proven that we are the third party in this country,” Warner told supporters.
“As it is now, the popular vote shows the UNC is ahead,” Warner said, as he made what would be to him a Freudian slip, which was corrected by ILP interim deputy political leader Anna Deonarine-Rampersad, who stood behind him. “Sorry, I meant to say the popular vote shows the ILP is ahead, so what this means is that the ILP is here to stay,” Warner said.
“We shall stay the course and continue to build. Our young people who have kept the faith with us, I say, we are your future. I want to take this opportunity to commend both the UNC and PNM on their victories. Our councillors are prepared to work with the heads.
“And we at the party, we will have many more aldermen on corporations based on the amount of votes we got and the new dispensation of proportional representation. This is not a time for any long faces. This is a time to tell you that a four-month-old party has changed the political paradigm in this country,” Warner said as one or two persons cheered.
“To our supporters, I ask you to keep your green jerseys,” Warner begged, adding, “we still have a bye-election in St Joseph to fight and on Wednesday we will walk at Richmond Street with our candidate (Om Lalla) and we shall use the popular support we got in this election to propel us further in the St Joseph election.” The St Joseph bye-election takes place in two weeks’ time on November 4.
Earlier, interim ILP chairman Robin Montano said the fledgling party failed in the Local Government election because it “sought to contest too many districts.” He noted the party had less than three months to put all in place for the election.
“With the benefit of hindsight maybe we would have and should have been better off contesting let’s say three of the regional corporations but we got so much national encouragement that we went for the whole hog,” a sombre Montano said.
He however said he was proud of the effort the ILP put in at this election. “Let’s be honest, the results aren’t good.
The results show the country has retreated from the promise of July 29 (when ILP interim leader Jack Warner won the Chaguanas West bye-election) and has gone back into tribal politics,” Montano said.
“So we failed today. You know what? It doesn’t matter. We are going to try again tomorrow and we going to keep on trying until we reach the stars,” Montano added.
“This party has shown that win, lose or draw we are a serious force to be reckoned with,” Montano said.