Bavita Gopaulchan

Promising to be the change the T&T needs, the Patriotic Front is gearing up to run in the 2020 General Election and it will have a former prime minister as its campaign manager.

The announcement was made yesterday by political leader Mickela Panday at the party’s head office located at Marie Street in Chaguanas.

According to Panday, “We recognize that people are fed up with the recycling of the same politicians every five years and so we will contest the election with new, vibrant, intelligent, honest and committed people”.

She indicated that a committee of experienced people like her father Basdeo Panday will not only mentor the candidates but also spearhead the election campaign.

As of now, Mickela Panday said the Patriotic Front wants to contest all 41 constituencies but, she admitted discussions are being held with other political forces which means plans can change.

“I don’t want to sound as if we are not still talking with other political parties and willing to listen to other parties and move the best way forward,” she stated.

Now that the party’s nominations are open, Panday confirmed she will be throwing her hat in the ring. However, she is tight-lipped on which constituency she has her eyes on.

Also present at yesterday’s press conference was local footballer Kenwyne Jones. Asked what role Jones played in the party’s election fight, Panday said he was part of the team and the country has to wait to find out more.

The election date is yet to be announced but the young Panday said she is optimistic the Patriotic Front has enough time to prepare its slate of candidates and campaign.

She said, “We have done a statistical study of the voting pattern in this country using the EBC and the CSO statistics and the voting pattern shows that of the two major parties put together less than 50 per cent of the entire electorate votes for them”.

It is the group of people who do not vote, Panday said she is hoping to capture.

As for the party’s financiers, the political leader said there are none and assured that its financial records will be made public.

She stated, “Without completely giving it away but in the interest of accountability and transparency, the best way to go is by going constituency to constituency”.

The party’s manifesto, which will be unveiled soon, will address issues such as, the COVID-19 crisis, rising unemployment, lack of food security, healthcare delivery, constitutional reform and an economic diversification plan.