Ramjattan admits to ‘goodbye and thank you’ meeting with staff
Khemraj Ramjattan, Prime Ministerial Candidate for APNU+AFC coalition, on Thursday admitted to having a meeting with his staff at the Public Security Ministry in which he thanked them for their work and can be heard in a recording conceding defeat at the March polls to the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Appearing on a televised show on ‘CCN TV morning edition show’ with Fazeer Mohammed in Trinidad, Ramjattan said: “Being the Prime Ministerial candidate, you would have to move from the Public Security Ministry … I knew there would be an announcement and declaration soon I went to thank all the heads of the security ministry…”Ramjattan said.
He, however, denied that he conceded defeat and instead sought to accuse the local press of putting a twist to what he said.
But the recording of the meeting was clear as Ramjattan told his staff that he was talking to them with sadness because “the numbers were against us.”
In the meeting, Ramjattan said he was prepared to “accept and to move on.”
He said that while the declaration has not yet been made, “from all indications, the PPP has beaten us by some 15, 000 votes.”
He said he hopes for a “soft landing” once the declaration is made. Ramjattan further said he did not want to be a part of any lawlessness.
Ramjattan said in the meeting that losing is not a death penalty and in modern democracies, if you go in a race, someone has to lose but he has now claimed that none of this amounted to him conceding defeat.
He had said in the recording that once the declaration is made and the new President is sworn in, his portfolio comes to an “abrupt end.”
He said then that the Coalition will have to work in Parliament as a formidable opposition, and said the Coalition is “a formidable force on any side” and though he said he is disappointed, the Coalition’s supporters should not “feel bad” or go into despair.
Ramjattan on Thursday said the meeting with his staff was held before the Eslyn David case was heard before the Court of Appeal, in which by a majority decision, ruled that when the Constitution determined that it is the party with “more votes are cast” wins the elections what the Constitution means is “more ‘valid’ votes are cast.”
The case has reached the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which is expected to rule next Wednesday.