One-time People’s National Movement (PNM) senator and former United National Congress (UNC) and Congress of the People (COP) frontliner Robin Montano last night debuted on Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party (ILP) platform. Warner announced him as the party’s new interim chairman at the final major political meeting in Felicity, Chaguanas.
Addressing the crowd, Montano said he had decided to return to politics and the ILP after a seven-year hiatus because he was disgusted with the “crapaud politics” that was now passing as politics in T&T. He noted that Warner, who had stepped down as the UNC chairman, national security minister and as Chaguanas MP in April, had had the support of the 31 party groups in the constituency when he sought to return to contest the by-election under the UNC banner.
However, he said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who often used the mantra “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” had still sidelined Warner for her favoured choice, Khadijah Ameen. Montano said Warner had served the people of the constituency well and deserved their vote on Monday based on his performance alone. He promised to stand shoulder to shoulder with Warner, noting that the party was an even bigger threat to the People’s National Movement than the UNC.
Montano had served as a PNM senator under the first Patrick Manning administration (1991-95), but subsequently fell out with Manning and the PNM. In more recent years, he had supported the COP, but most recently had “parked up” from active politics and had been writing a political blog. In his most recent blog posting on Tuesday, he supported Warner’s Chaguanas West bid, saying Warner had run the most modern game.
Last night, Montano told the T&T Guardian he had spoken to Warner last week and on Wednesday, Warner had met with him to discuss his situation. Meanwhile, during a walkabout at Chadee Lohar Road, Charlieville, Persad-Bissessar said she expected anything from the opposition over the next two days. “When you get to be my age expect anything. It’s the silly season,” she told reporters when asked what she expected from the opposing parties in the race with the election three days away.