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A PNM/COP out

Published: 
Saturday, December 2, 2017

The older generation used the expression that the “empty can which rattles the most, makes unnecessary and unwanted noise.” In the lead-up to the recent COP internal elections, statements were made to the effect that the UNC/COP partnership had failed.

People are entitled to their views but exactly how did it fail? The other members of the coalition have not voiced such sentiments.

I have never heard former COP leader, Prakash Ramadhar, Member of Parliament for St Augustine saying such. In fact he has at times boasted of the performance of the PP Government.

Well, how has the People Partnership Coalition failed? Is it because the COP members did not get the number of seats it wanted? Is it that they did not get the number of senators in the Senate which they wanted? Is it that members did not get to fulfil their own personal aggrandisement?

Is it that they (COP) themselves were the biggest pain in the Partnership, always bickering without cause and posing to be a greater opposition to the PP Government than the PNM? What could it possibly be will be left up to the general population to decide.

I, along with other members of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, supported Mr Winston Dookeran and the Congress of the People (COP) at the outset, but with the passage of time became regretful having done so. Why? It is really very simple.

The COP hierarchy felt that they were the only intellectuals in the society capable of solving everything. There was no room for any young person to voice and run with their ideas though there was lip-service to a youth forum.

Why would all these intellectuals now have a following of only themselves? Certainly they ought to know how to command a following. Anyway, this article is not a personal attack on the COP or anyone within the organisation.

It is surprising that there was an internal election for both the COP and the UNC within the space of one week.

Both political parties formed the last Government. The weaker party (COP) has now clearly expressed that it is willing to speak to anyone including the PNM, but is adamant against a coalition with the UNC (See T&T Guardian article “Carolyn willing to talk to PNM”: 29/11/17).

I feel certain that newly elected leader of the UNC, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who polled 20,328 votes in her leadership contest, while Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan was only able to poll 416 in hers, will not subject herself and her party to a coalition that is a political waste.

The UNC base re-elected Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar as its political leader.

Why wouldn’t the COP want to talk to her? Is it that the leader of the COP does not want to work with the former Prime Minister and leader of the coalition? Could it be that, Ms Seepersad-Bachan does not see herself leading any coalition as long as Mrs Persad-Bissessar is present?

These are questions that are swirling around in the minds of the UNC and former COP supporters. How does one member of the coalition which has become almost extinct, suddenly wake up and decide that it is prepared to talk to its former political enemy but not want to talk to its ally?

Maybe I am overreacting and too many words and energy have already been spent on the COP which Basdeo Panday once labelled as “the corpse.” On the other hand, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar has emerged victorious despite some internal wrangling in the UNC party. Her slogan during and after the campaign was that the real mission at hand was to get rid of the incompetent and corrupt PNM.

The fact that the new COP would rather have talks with the PNM must mean that they do not see the PNM as incompetent and corrupt. Time will tell as to who the population wants to lead the country.

Certainly, no reasonable person would want a prime minister who insists on speaking about issues which only arise in the locality in which he is standing.

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