PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday August 25, 2015 – Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters has resigned as Minister of Community Development and from the United National Congress (UNC), blasting Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as ungrateful and conniving, after he was replaced as the party’s Mayaro candidate for next month’s elections.
Peters, the incumbent, was not chosen to fly the UNC’s flag for the constituency in the September 7 poll, despite winning the seat four out of the five times he contested it since 2000. And he did not take it sitting down.
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, the veteran calypsonian said that the UNC leader had betrayed him, despite all he had done for her, helping “in no small way” to put her “where she is today”.
Peters said that his support for Persad-Bissessar had cost him family, friends and money, but he continued to be loyal to her. In return, he was undermined and stabbed in the back.
The party initially chose Roger Morales as its Mayaro candidate. However, he was subsequently replaced by businessman Ruston Paray after a video surfaced of him criticizing the government.
“As a human being, I find Kamla Persad-Bissessar to be the most ungrateful ingrate, if there was ever one, that I have ever met!” he told journalists, adding that she had blanked his attempts to reach out to her after he was not selected.
“And, as of today, I have tendered my resignation from the United National Congress and I have also tendered my resignation as a government minister from Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s candidate, and I have divorced myself, as it were, from the United National Congress.”
Peters said he “felt like dancing” now that he had broken ties with the UNC.
But he stressed that his exit from the party did not mean his political career was over.
And even though leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner – a former UNC deputy leader – attended the press conference, Peters said he had made no decisions about what party he would align himself to.
He told the media that one thing was for sure – he would not be campaigning for the UNC, neither would he turn his back on Warner, who he credited for getting him into politics, or Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley, both of whom he said were his close friends.