2015 leaders’ debate… Only PP, PNM leaders qualify

Two political party leaders have raised concerns over being excluded from the upcoming national leaders’ debates to be hosted by the T&T Debates Commission (TTDC).

Political leaders of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner, and the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdullah yesterday claimed debates featuring only the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the People’s Partnership (PP) would be unfair to the public.

Yesterday, the TTDC formally launched the leaders’ debates at the Chamber of Commerce building, Westmorrings.

Chairman of the TTDC, Andrew Sabga said criteria for the debates only allowed PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley and PP leader Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar to take part as they were the only two political leaders to qualify under the commission’s criteria.

He said: “The debates will allow for the leaders of any party or alliance of parties.

“The party or alliance must demonstrate the potential to form the next government by nominating candidates for at least 50 per cent or minimum 21 seats,” Sabga said.

Alternatively, the party or alliance of parties may also enter the debates if it had an approval rating of 12.5 per cent or more in two nationally recognised polls, he added.

Source: The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.