“I will fight because I believe that I live here and I have a right and I owe it to my constituency and myself to have a better life.”
With those words, Jack Warner launched himself back into electoral politics as the lone ILP (Independent Liberal Party) candidate Lopinot/Bon Air West.
At a news conference on Nomination Day, Warner outlined that after his falling out with the United National Congress (UNC) he entered into frequent talks with then Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley at a house in Westmoorings.
“We met up to the last Tuesday before election, September the 1st to be exact.”
He said in those alleged talks he and Dr Rowley discussed several strategies which would aid the PNM.
“At those meetings, Dr Rowley also made several promises to me at least”.
He said among the promises were to remove the inequities in the country, get rid of all forms of corruption and reduce poverty.
But, “needless to say not one of the promises he made to me over the last five years he kept.”
Dr Rowley was contacted by Guardian Media for comment on Warner’s claims. He said “I met him at the home of a mutual friend once. If he considers that strategizing then no wonder he is where he is today.”
Asked whether Warner provided any help to the PNM in the lead up to the 2015 general election the PM said no.
“After the ILP picked up seats in the Chaguanas Borough in the Local Government Elections the combined PNM/ILP seats were more than the UNC. An offer was made to the PNM to govern Chaguanas. The PNM declined and the rest is history,” he said.
Warner also said that the deciding factor for him to contest the polls was the ‘poor’ choice of candidates being put up by the two major parties in an area he has lived for over 50 years.
“I said I must come off the fence Dr Rowley enough is enough.”
Warner who served as chairman of the UNC and held several ministerial portfolios parted ways with the party in 2013 and he said he has not spoken to its leader since. But he added that doesn’t mean he’s bitter.
“If Mrs Persad-Bissessar is willing to talk, or anybody else I have no problem with that.”
He also addressed the corruption charges laid against him by the United States by labelling them as simply allegations.
“I am optimistic that if and when it does come to trial, I shall be fully cleared as I was by the Integrity Commission weeks ago and therefore, I have no cause to worry.”
As it relates to his age, Warner doesn’t see this as an issue either.
He said should he be victorious he will have to meet with his executive to decide where his support would lie in the parliament.