Jack Warner takes a back seat from politics

Jack Warner takes a back seat from politics
Jack Warner, former political leader of the Trinidad and Tobago Independent Liberal Party.
Associated Press / Anthony Harris

Political leader of the Trinidad and Tobago Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner has bowed out of active politics.

Attorney Reka Ramjit was elected the new political leader of the party when the ILP held its internal election for the leadership post last Sunday.

Three days after the Sept. 7 general election Warner resigned from the post as political leader after the ILP failed to secure any of the 26 seats the party fought.

After she was declared the winner, Ramjit said the party will be focused on preparing for local government election to be held next year.

She said Warner would be an advisor to the party.

In an interview last week Warner said his plans as a private citizen would include writing a book called “In the Belly of the Beast,” a reflection on his political life, focusing on his businesses and enjoying a vacation.

On his decision to give up the party’s leadership position, Warner said he believed this was in keeping with the Westminster system, adding that he felt the party was in good hands with its new successor.

The ILP was formed in June 2013 after Warner resigned from the United National Congress (UNC) led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar as National Security Minister and chairman of the party, but he remained as Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West, Central Trinidad.

His resignation came after chairman of the CONCACAF Integrity Commission Barbadian Sir David Simmons revealed a detailed report into allegations of million-dollar financial mismanagement by Warner and former CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer.

Persad-Bissessar declared his seat vacant in the House of Representatives and announced a date for a by-election in July 2013.

Warner again won the Chaguanas West seat and was the lone ILP member in Parliament.

Warner, 70, who was vice-president of FIFA, had resigned all football posts in 2011 in the wake of cash-for-votes bribery scandal involving fellow FIFA official Mohamed bin Hammam and members of the Caribbean Football Union, of which Warner was also president.

He was recently banned for life by FIFA — four years after he resigned from the governing body for world football.

The former Fifa-vive president questioned why such a ban was imposed on him when he had resigned from FIFA four and half years ago.

Warner is now facing extradition to the USA on corruption and money laundering charges.

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