Chair of the People’s Movement for Change (PMC), Oscar Allen, has given a passing grade to founder member, Jomo Thomas, who was appointed a senator for the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) last September.
Allen, however, said at a press conference last week that Thomas’ decision last year to sue activist Junior Bacchus was “a blip”.
Allen also clarified Thomas’ position in the PMC, saying that he remains a member of the non-partisan socio-political group.
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“In fact, his appointment (as a senator) led us to clarify how we look at political party activity of our members and we came up with this position that a member of the PMC can become an active member of a political party, notwithstanding our view that partisan politics is destroying the country,” Allen said.
“We are saying that a member of the PMC can be active in a political party, as long as that person does not enter the political party arena to be triumphalist on the apart of his party and to be destructive against the other side,” Allen further said.
“Be a descent party persons. If you are indecent, your membership will be revoked,” Allen said, adding that whatever party PMC members belong to, they are expected to abide by the principles of the PMC.
“Our work will continue, to build a cadre of citizens who put country before party,” he said.
Allen said that the PMC been paying attention to Thomas’ performance in Parliament since his appointment last September.
“We have monitored, to some extent, his output in Parliament and it has been true to the principles of the PMC. There was a blip — if I might express a personal opinion– when he trod the path of suemanship — suing people. We consider that a blip, from which he has withdrawn. But we expect his performance to continually enlighten and enrich the work of the parliament,” Allen said.
Asked why he considers “a blip” the decision by Thomas, a lawyer, to sue, Allen said:
“Suemanship is almost entirely a Ralph Gonsalves activity in the past years — an activity which I personally do not consider statesmanlike. For Mr. Thomas — and I think this is probably his first suing of people who were critical of him – [to sue,] I think it was a blip, therefore,” Allen said, noting that it is his personal view.
Meanwhile, General-Secretary of the PMC, Ronnie Daniel, congratulated the senator on his appointment.
He, however, said, “I think we were all at first a little tentative, at least in my case, but, soon after, I was excited and delighted that one of our own, if we could claim Jomo, has been elevated to such a national status.
Daniel said he has been listening to Thomas’ contributions in Parliament.
“… we can say, it has been an interesting but an excellent contribution, though it is early. And I think we look forward to the other step, naturally, in terms of politics and his deeper involvement.”
Daniel noted that when the PMC was launched in 2008, it did say that it welcomes persons from all sides of the political fence, once they abide by the ideals of elevating country before politics and profit.
“We are going into our sixth year, and that has been a core tenet of what we do,” Daniel said.