Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Government strong; no need to panic: Moonilal

UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar at last Saturday's political rally in Chaguanas West
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan told local media on Tuesday the Government remains "united, strong" and is constitutionally secure.

And his parliamentary colleague and Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Dr Roodal Moonilal corroborated that statement. 
“There is no need to be nervous and no need to panic,” he told the Express newspaper.

Both men congratulated Warner on his victory as did Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan, who told the Express politics is about change and the people's decision must be respected. “We will wait to see how all of this unfolds in the future,” he added.

The result of Monday's byelection has changed the government's support, which started with 29 members following the 2010 general election. The breakdown was:
  • UNC 21
  • COP 06
  • TOP 02
That has been reduced by two, with Jack Warner leading his own Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and Herbert Volney resigning from the UNC but retaining his seat. There are now 19 UNC members, including Errol Mc Leod, who fought the election on a UNC ticket although he was representing the Movement For Social Justice (MSJ) when he joined the partnership.

The change means that while the UNC has lost its simple majority and needs the support of at least two members from the partnership to pass legislation the partnership remains strong. The significant difference is that it no longer has a constitutional majority to pass certain bills on its own.

Moonilal is not very concerned about that. He told the paper “we can depend on all colleagues” in the Parliament for support if legislation is in the best interest of the country. 

Moonilal predicted that the UNC would "emerge stronger" from the experience in Chaguanas West. He also thanked Volney for his service to the party and to wish him all the best.

Ramlogan also commented on his cabinet colleague Winston "Gypsy" Peters celebrating with Warner. 

“It is laudable that persons can maintain their personal friendships in the middle of heated political battle. I certainly bear no animosity towards Mr Warner, as he has enjoyed good relations with many of us,” Ramlogan told the Express.

“But we are fortunate to be led by a strong and determined Prime Minister whose principles and political experience will continue to guide us,” he said.

Ramlogan added that the Prime Minister’s leadership remained sound and noted that wherever she went during the campaign she was "warmly embraced and greeted with a tremendous outpouring of love".

He explained why Warner won. "This election turned on an unprecedented personal connection and bond that Jack formed with his constituents based on effective representation...But there is no gainsaying that the Prime Minister’s national appeal and leadership remain unchallenged and unrivalled,” he said. 

Ramlogan suggested that Warner was aware of this, which is why his campaign stayed clear of criticising her directly. The AG described Warner's victory as "incredible", adding that his former cabinet colleague achieved what most people thought to be political unthinkable. 

He said Warner demonstrated the value of representation and added that other MPs would no doubt "redouble their effort to serve their constituents in a more effective and meaningful manner".

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai