Youth leader launches new political party in Trinidad

Founder of the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Convention, Nikoli Edwards.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The founder of the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Convention, Nikoli Edwards, has launched a new political party saying it would contest all 41 seats in the 2020 general election in Trinidad and Tobago.

“I was approached by members of both political parties to join but I could not because my morals and values did not align with theirs. I wanted to put my support behind something that was genuine but for me this was neither red nor yellow. I decided to do something bold,” Edwards told the launch of the Progressive Party in San Fernando.

The former independent legislator, said that while the party is urging persons to come forward as candidates for the election, “we cannot have the same Members of Parliament holding themselves accountable as Cabinet ministers.

“A MP job is not to fix roads and build drains. Their job is to represent your view in the Parliament every time she or he debates a bill. We need to ensure that we have the right of recall so we can hold MPs accountable and they must answer to the people who put them there,” he said.

“How many times has your MP come and asked you how you’d want her or him to vote on a bill? We see our MPs standing proudly representing their parties, but what about the people? We must change this. “We need referendums in our law to ensure that when MPs fail to make de­ci­sions on our behalf in our best interest, we can make those decisions on our own through a democratic vote,” he said.

“We also need the right to re­call done properly so that we can hold our MPs accountable. They must answer to the people of this coun­try who put them there, not just their political leader.”

Edwards said the new party with the symbol, a guiding flame which represents “the burning desire of citizens” would concentrate on issues such as border protection, safe living environment, security, health, food security and economic growth.

“We are not here to play games as that has been our reality for far too long. We are a serious party with serious supporters who are serious about the people of our country,” he said, adding that the party had no members from the existing political parties including the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) or the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).

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