While Jack Warner's no threat to the People's National Movement (PNM) at this time, he could pose a threat if the party does not put its house in order, says PNM MP Colm Imbert."He's a one-man show. I'm not seeing anyone of substance lining up with him at this time," Imbert told the T&T Guardian on Tuesday. "This wasn't an aberration. He was obviously a good representative and constituents clearly didn't care where the money came from as they were interested in what he could do for them."So I'm not worried but PNM has to get its house in order as if we are complacent he could pose a threat."
Imbert made the comment in the wake of Warner's Chaguanas West victory on Monday in which he recaptured the seat on his own with his new Independent Liberal Party (ILP) despite the fact that the seat had been held by Indo-based parties since the 1950s.Several PNM officials on Monday downplayed or ducked the impact of Warner's win where the PNM was concerned.But on Tuesday, Imbert said: "We (PNM) have to examine this by-election's results seriously and do some serious introspection. In the last 2010 election we got about 1,500 votes in Chaguanas West but on this occasion we got less than 500."We lost over 1,000 votes from 2010 and 2010 was an aberration, a tidal wave. Our normal votes in that seat is around 2,000. So I didn't expect us to get as little as we did in Chaguanas West.""I'll say categorically this isn't a reflection on PNM candidate Avinash Singh. I like the young man, he has a bright political future. I hope he's not disheartened by this."But the PNM has to look at this result very carefully, do proper post-mortems to find out why we lost so many votes and take immediate corrective action," Imbert said.
"I can't say now what the problems are but this requires a scientific post-mortem to go into the areas, interview people and ascertain why traditional PNM voters didn't vote PNM."He said he thought a few PNM votes went to Warner but wasn't sure. He speculated that PNM voters emerged mainly in general elections when they felt results made a fundamental change to T&T's politics and did not come out for local government or by-elections."It's clear rejection of the PP, the Prime Minister and UNC, as they threw everything into this campaign, like the THA campaign, where they also received a cut-tail."Their brand is irreparably damaged so T&T's future politics is up for grabs and will be different. People are examining different things...representation, individuals, policies, performance. They're fed up of ole talk," Imbert said, welcoming the change.