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PM must take firm grip on Cabinet

Friday, September 8, 2017

Two political analysts yesterday urged Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to take a firmer grip on his Cabinet in order to rebuild the population’s confidence.

Their call follows the results of the T&T Guardian-commissioned Louis Bertrand poll on Government’s two-year tenure in office, which revealed the country was deemed to be “going in the wrong direction” under the People’s National Movement administration by the majority of respondents.

The findings of the poll conducted by Bertrand’s HHB and Associates showed this to be the view of a startling 83 per cent of respondents. Crime and violence was ranked as the single most pressing problem facing T&T by 66 per cent of respondents.

Political analyst Prof John La Guerre yesterday agreed that crime had worsened under Rowley’s stewardship.He suggested that the PM needs to re-assess his Cabinet and bring a few “mature ministers” to manage the country.

“The Government needs to have a firm plan as to what they are going to do in the present and in going forward, which should be communicated to the public.”

He said the Government was currently stumbling from one day to next and there were too many mistakes and missteps in the last 24 months.

“There just have been too many glitches in the Government and people are losing confidence in their ability to grapple with the crime and violence that is stalking our land.They need to do better,” La Guerre said.

If the Government fails to address the concerns of the people, Le Guerre said this “could lead to unconventional forms of protests, especially over crime” in the coming months.

Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath also expressed similar sentiments, saying crime and violence were the most pressing issues affecting citizens.

Ragoonath said leading up the 2015 general election, Rowley had given a commitment to fight corruption and noted it was recently shocking to hear him describe the deal involving the Cabo Star and Ocean Flower 2 as being crooked.

“So if the Prime Minister has indicated this which happened under his watch, clearly all the things he had promised to get done they are not doing it. Dr Rowley had also promised and campaigned that they would get a handle on crime and they have failed in that regard. This is why people are of the view that they are not going in the right direction,” Ragoonath said.

In going forward, Ragoonath said the PM “has to take a firmer grip on his Cabinet,” to show that they can get the job done and rebuild the population’s confidence.


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