If Jack Warner is selected by the UNC to fight the by-election for the Chaguanas West seat without comprehensively clearing his name of the damning allegations of fraud and misappropriation of Fifa monies, it will be the beginning of the end of the UNC and the Partnership Government.The non-aligned voters in the East-West corridor will not endorse expediency and popularity over morality in public affairs and good governance.
It is a fact that Mr Warner was an efficient and competent MP and minister of government who served the constituents of Chaguanas West as no other has in the history of party politics in this country.His invaluable assistance moulded the UNC into an efficient election machine which led the Partnership to capture the reins of government. And this he did with his blood, sweat, tears and money. But at this point, he is more of a liability than an asset to the UNC and the Partnership government.
In any event, it does not matter whom the UNC selects to contest Chaguanas West; this is UNC heartland, and as such the selected candidate is guaranteed to win the seat. Thus if Mr Warner contests as an independent candidate against the chosen UNC candidate, he would be defeated comprehensively and may even lose his deposit.
But Mr Warner is smarter than that. By now it has dawned upon him that he cannot be selected and will not be selected by the UNC and as an independent candidate he is doomed. He is quite aware that the very people whom he assisted will vote party and not individuals.
He is quite aware that the constituents of Chaguanas West know that he needs government resources to deliver the political goods and services and if he is not a member of the Cabinet, or at least a UNC MP, he will be crippled and thus be unable to be of great assistance to them as he was in the past. Most of all, he is quite aware that the UNC constitution demands that he be expelled from the party if he contests against the UNC candidate.
But Mr Warner, with legal opinions in hand from his local and English attorneys, will face the UNC screening committee. Dr Suruj Rambachan should not be on the panel to screen him because the average man on the street would form the opinion, and rightly so, that Rambachan would not be objective and dispassionate in evaluating the facts and circumstances of his suitability as a candidate.
Mr Warner had openly and shamelessly revealed to the entire population that he had conspired with former prime minister Patrick Manning and Colm Imbert to obtain the support of the PNM counsellors to defeat Rambachan's quest to be re-elected Mayor of Chaguanas. And Jack recently stated on TV that Rambachan is the "most vindictive man he knows" (what irony). And he alluded that he is a racist.
Thus justice and fair play demand that Rambachan must step down from the UNC screening committee.
It is also my humble opinion that the Prime Minister must indicate to the UNC screening committee why, at this point, it is sagacious not to have Mr Warner in her Cabinet, and why as political leader of the UNC she is of the view that Mr Warner at this juncture should not hold the position of chairman of the party she leads. And it is of no moment whether Mr Warner voluntarily resigned from these positions or whether in her own deliberate judgement she demanded that he tender his resignations.
If the allegations of fraud and misappropriations of Fifa monies, among other things, remain substantially intact, Jack is politically crippled for the following reasons:
i) he will not be selected to contest the by-election on a UNC ticket
ii) if he goes up as an independent against the UNC candidate, he would be expelled from the party and be politically dead, never ever to rise again
iii) as an independent he will be beaten comprehensively; and if by some sort of voodoo magic from Haiti he wins the by-election, he would be an impotent MP outside of the Cabinet and thus unable to perform the miracles of representation to Chaguanas West as he once did.
So it does not matter what political manoeuvres Mr Warner engages in; he cannot regain his seat in Parliament. But if he plays his cards right in the all-fools game of politics and he is eventually cleared of the Fifa allegations, he could bounce back into the political arena, but never again in the Parliament. He is forever doomed with his political baggage, but may be able to remain in the political arena/game, unless he allows his political enemies to hang his jack.
Warner must understand that all he has in his hand in this game is two pieces of trump–low and Jack.
�2 Gillian Lucky returns next week.