SOURCE: CMC – Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar has apologised to her British counterpart, Sir Keir Starmer, after her congratulatory note to United States President-elect, Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect, Kamala Harris, were similar in the wordings.

Persad Bissessar has since blamed “an administrative error” for the situation, adding “apologies extended to Sir Keir Starmer”.

In her original posting on her Facebook, the Opposition Leader said that “after a keenly contested campaign, the American people have chosen the plans, policies and direction in which they want their nation to move forward. We can all agree that after an election, unity is key to a nation moving forward.

“The American people and the people of Trinidad and Tobago have long shared a warm and mutually beneficial relationship, and we expect that this valuable and productive relationship will continue under President-elect Biden.

“I offer President-elect Biden my best wishes for a successful term for himself as well as for the people of the United States of America.”

But soon after her message went viral, social media carried the posting of the British Opposition Leader showing the exact wording of the two messages.

“Today we experienced an administrative error. We apologise for this mistake and have since taken steps to ensure this does not reoccur. Apologies extended to Sir Keir Starmer.”

The ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) condemned the posting of the Opposition leader.

“In true unethical, disingenuous, intellectually and morally bankrupt UNC (United national Congress) style, a whole stolen international congratulatory message is downplayed as an ‘administrative error’. No my friend, you and your party are the error!  What a shame,” said PNM’s public relations officer, Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing.

Vasant Bharath, who is contesting the leadership of the main opposition UNC in December, said “plagiarism is a despicable act of dishonesty…It is stealing someone else’s ideas, labour and sweat and calling it your own”.