Faced with expulsion from the United National Congress (UNC), Jack Warner is now turning to his political guru, Basdeo Panday, with a heartfelt apology, but Panday has outrightly rejected it. Warner made the overture to Panday as the two men attended the wedding ceremony of UNC strategy officer Ken Emrith and Davica Persad at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, yesterday.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian last night, Warner said he was not ashamed to admit that Panday was right about Persad-Bissessar’s leadership style. “When I see him I will have to talk to him because a lot of the predictions he made about the prime minister were true,” Warner said. “He said the prime minister is not ready to lead. I was one of those persons who disputed and quarreled with him when he said that. I was even angry about it.”
Asked what he planned to say to Panday, Warner revealed, “I want to tell him that I am really very sorry because I think he saw much more than I could have ever seen and that was based on the level of his own political experience.” Asked if he planned to invite Panday to join his Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Warner said, “Anybody can be part of my political party. Mr Panday and anybody else.
“Mr Panday and everybody else is welcome, but I think in life one must admit when one makes a mistake and error. I admit that in my political judgement of the Prime Minister, Mr Panday was right and I was wrong.” Asked how he felt about Persad-Bissessar’s accusations that he was trying to bring down her Government by forming his own party, Warner responded, “There are some things that the Prime Minister says that I will not dignify by commenting on it.
“Some of the things she says tells me more and more that she has to refrain from being a prisoner of the cabal. I will not dignify what she says with a comment because my work for the party and the Government speaks for itself.” Asked what it would take for him to return to the folds of the UNC, Warner said, “Nothing is cast in stone and I don’t have to make any judgement in that. What is evolving right now is not of my doing.
“I was rejected by the party that I helped to keep alive. Panday is the man who put me to Chaguanas West and Persad-Bissessar is the woman who took it away from me. I do not think that I want to say much more on this.” Saying he felt hurt and betrayed by the Prime Minister, Warner said, “I have nothing against Mrs Persad-Bissessar. My fight is with the cabal. That has always been and it continues to be. My fight is not only for Persad-Bissessar’s sake but it is for the country, for the party and for the government.”
When the Sunday Guardian told Panday that Warner wanted to apologise to him at the wedding, Panday replied “No, no, no, no. This is a wedding. I have come to a wedding, not to receive an apology.” Asked if he would accept Warner’s apology, Panday snapped, “Accept what? I am at a wedding. Why has he chosen to interfere with my presence at a wedding? I have come at a wedding in a different frame of mind and so forth.”
Asked if he was approached by Warner if he would talk to him, Panday said he speaks to anyone. “Remember I am the one who slept with the devil. I will talk to anyone.” What would he do should Warner ask him to join the ILP? “Everyone knows that I have given up electoral politics,” he said. When told that Warner said he (Panday) had warned him about Persad-Bissessar, he smiled and remarked,”I also warned the country about lots of things.”
Panday said, however, he was willing to meet Warner at a different place and forum. But UNC deputy political leader, Dr Roodal Moonilal, yesterday accused Warner of being deceitful by forming his own political party. He said Warner was making an attempt to remove Persad-Bissessar from office. Moonilal said, “Warner is trying to fool the people into believing that he will join the government, but how can he when on July 30 the government will still have the same evil cabal that he alleges exists?”
Moonilal added, “Mr Warner joined the PNM to remove a UNC mayor. He will join Rowley to remove Rambachan, Ramlogan, Moonilal and Sharma, all in a bid to get rid of the Prime Minister. This is sadly his modus operandi.” The MP also said he heard that Warner had planned to place Natasha Navas as the ILP representative for Oropouche East in the 2015 general elections.