Demonstrating conclusively why he is not qualified to lead a political party (especially one with as independent thinking a membership as the Congress of the People), Prakash Ramadhar’s position on the Jack Warner motion tabled by the party’s vice chairman Vernon De Lima flies in the face of his own stated position on the issue and begs the question—why rush to judgment without giving the entire membership the benefit of a debate? Is it that he feels that the COP is his alone and only he can determine what is right and fair and worthy of an ultimatum? Or is there something else at work here? Surely he must see how compromised this makes his own position appear? Secondly, (and some would say more importantly), if his stated position on the matter is really his position, why is he not championing this call himself? In his press release issued on Wednesday, Prakash states that “The National Executive of the COP, at the time that the issues within FIFA became known, met and issued a statement on its position on the matter as it related to Jack Warner as a Cabinet minister. “The COP stated then, and continues to hold, that Mr Warner should have stepped aside from his ministerial position until the investigations into the matter were concluded and decisions had been made as to his role in the matter and culpability or otherwise.” So if this is his and the party’s position, why the waffling?
Thirdly, should the citizenry cast themselves into the roles of judge, jury and executioners in these matters? Of course not. This is a matter for the legal system and Mr Warner should be given every opportunity to clear his name. But to do so while sitting as an MP flies in the face of the parliamentary Code of Ethics and undermines the standards of that hallowed place whether we like it or not, and further, to have him function as the line minister over the very police officers that must investigate him confounds due process in my opinion and puts the officers under unnecessary duress. The COP release states, “The COP’s position remains that Mr Warner should step down from ministerial responsibility until investigations are concluded,” which sounds like a rational position until it is qualified this way, “The COP is also clear that Mr Warner’s refusal to remove himself from ministerial positions puts the question of whether he should be removed as a minister, in the hands of the political leader of his party and Prime Minister and not the COP.” Now this is where Prakash is playing smart with foolishness, because the motion as worded puts the responsibility of dealing with Mr Warner squarely at the feet of his political leader and the current Prime Minister and seeks to remove the Congress of the People from the decision as it ought to.
So why is he fighting the motion? Why does he not step aside and let the motion stand or fall on its own merits and, dependent on the outcome, get behind the wishes of the membership as any democratic leader would? Instead, acting quite dictatorially and like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland who declared to the King’s request that the verdict be heard—‘Sentence first, verdict later,’ he has granted that the motion can be debated but he has already rendered judgment, making the actual debate a fool’s exercise still to come. There may be more in the mortar here and at some point Prakash will have to answer to the public why he sought to place himself as a shield between the subject of the motion and the membership of the party. In his rush to be all things to all people, he is coming across (again) as spineless and testicularly challenged and is embarrassing those members to whom status quo politics could never be the order of the day. One can only hope that the members think and act independently in this matter and directs the party to function democratically whether the political leader likes it or not. That is new politics; now where have I heard that before?
Phillip Edward Alexander