Even though he does not expect an early general election, political leader-elect of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah says he is confident that his party’s membership will grow by 2020, positioning them favourably against the PNM and the UNC.
However, he does not foresee a coalition with either the ruling or opposing party. The MSJ was one of the political parties which formed the People’s Partnership coalition in 2010 and was the first to leave the union.
Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination papers at the party’s headquarters in St Joseph Village, San Fernando yesterday, Abdulah denied that the MSJ was holding internal elections along with the UNC and the COP because of impending general elections.
The COP internal elections will take place also on November 19, while the UNC’s internal election is carded for November 26.
Saying the MSJ’s constitution mandates that internal elections be held every three years, Abdulah said the cycle for elections had arrived and this was why elections were organised.
He also said that the MSJ was making inroads in some communities after losing some members to the People’s Partnership after 2010.
Asked what was the membership like, Abdulah said he did not have the figures. However, he said membership had climbed as the PNM’s popularity continues to tumble. “When we go to Diego Martin, Arima, Point Fortin and other parts of the country we are hearing that people want change. We are offering that because the PNM and the UNC are flip sides of the same coin.
“In terms of policies and running the system, they do exactly the same thing.
“We are opposed to the PNM’s policies. People are saying that they changed parties but life has not changed.
“The status quo remains intact. The elite that controls and benefit from the resources of this country remain intact whether we have PNM or UNC.
“The people who suffer as a result of that are ordinary people,” Abdulah said.
He added that once he retains his post he will build the party from the ground up by listening to the people. The MSJ’s elections will take place on November 19.
Among the posts being contested are Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Political Leader, Deputy Political Leader, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer, Education Officer, Elections Officer, International Relations Officer, Party Organiser, Public Relations Officer and Social Services Officer.