Patriotic Front Bows Out

Date: 
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 10:46

The Patriotic Front has bowed out of the August 10 general elections.In a statement posted to social media today, Political Leader of the Party Mickela Panday confirmed the decision, despite being approached by other political entities, as she explained the party did not have enough time to present itself to the country as it wished.
“While we were given a variety of other options and approached by other parties and politicians we believe we needed to stay true to the foundations upon which our party has built. And it is for this reason the Patriotic Front has made the difficult decision not to contest the 2020 general election but to build our party into a socio-political force to be reckoned with, ” said the Patriotic Front leader.  
“We will not do as others have done in past, saying things merely to gain favour, popularity or political power. To achieve this will require us sharing our target with our target voters, our plans to bring this vision to fruition. And to give all of our candidates a fair chance in the 2020 general election, ” said Panday, “We do not believe that this can be done in three weeks.

It will not be an injustice to our bring young new candidates but to country as a whole.”
It was just three weeks ago, on June 26, Panday announced the party had intended to contest all 41 seats in the then still-to-be announced polls. She also announced her father, former Prime Minister and United National Congress founder Basdeo Panday as her campaign manager.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced the election date, a week later on July 2.
“You will recall a week prior to this announcement, the Patriotic Front had announced via a press conference that it was our intention to contest all 41 seats. Given the overwhelming support we felt confident that this was an achievable task, ” said Panday who explained she reconsidered after meeting with nominees, volunteers and supporters. She revealed there was far too much not to be done to achieve that goal.
“The Patriotic Front was not born merely to fight elections, it was to born to restructure our society. We face the uphill battle of securing campaign financing in an accountable and transparent manner which is necessary to put in place the requisite election machinery, ” she said.
Political Analyst Dr. Winford James told Guardian Media that the decision was not unsurprising, but it was the right decision for the young party.James said unless the Patriotic Front were able to ‘steal’ a large contingent of UNC supporters via their connection to Basdeo Panday and sway the independent vote, the party which had only been launched in May 2019 had little to no chance in the upcoming elections.
“You don’t come on the eve of elections and hope to make any significant dent. So it was the right deciison and it was the unsurprising decision. Hopefully now she will set about building a party through hard work for the next five years. And she will challenge not only the UNC but the PNM,” he said.

Reporter: Peter Christopher


Mickela Panday’s full statement:

I am speaking directly to all patriots today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can in light of the sudden announcement by the Prime Minister that the general election will be held on the 10th of August 2020. The patriotic front has been speaking with our nominees, volunteers and supporters to decide the best way forward for the party.

You will recall a week prior to this announcement, the Patriotic Front had announced via a press conference that it was our intention to contest all 41 seats. Given the overwhelming support we felt confident that this was an achievable task.  From its inception, it has always been the Patriotic Front’s policy to bring meaningful representation to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

We believe this begins by giving a voice to those in every constituency who have seeking real change which can only be achieved by bringing together people who believe in and are willing to work for a better safer productive, self-sufficient, technologically driven country. It has never been our intention to split anybody’s vote but to appeal to the more than 50% of the electorate registered and unregistered who do not vote at all.

It continues to be our intention to introduce a different kind of politics into Trinidad and Tobago. Namely a politics in which we do not slander, tell lies, shame, mudsling or malign any political party or their members or make empty promises to win elections.  We will not do as others have done in the past, saying things merely to gain favour, popularity or political power.

To achieve this will require us sharing our target with our target voters, our plans to bring this vision to fruition. And to give all of our candidates a fair chance in the 2020 general election.
We do not believe that this can be done in three weeks. It will not be an injustice to our young bright new candidates but to country as a whole. The Patriotic Front was not born merely to fight elections it was to born to restructure our society.  We face the uphill battle of securing campaign financing in an accountable and transparent manner which is necessary to put in place the requisite election machinery.

While we were given a variety of other options and approached by other parties and politicians we believe we needed to stay true to the foundations upon which our party has built. And it is for this reason the Patriotic Front has made the difficult decision not to contest the 2020 general election but to build our party into a socio-political force to be reckoned with.

Today we call upon all patriots to join us in every constituency as we forge forward. Let me use this opportunity to continue to thank everyone who was brave enough to stack forward and be counted. We have always said that we are in this struggle for the long term, to build a better Trinidad and Tobago, we are a party that is creative, practical, and community-minded.

We know how to rally and how to look after one another and right now what could be more important than that? I want to reassure you that we haven’t given up, our journey continues. We look forward to your continued support, to hearing from you working with you. We thank you so much and God bless.