Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back to Ramjack? But Ramesh not sure

File: JYOTI graphic from 2007 when Ramesh Maharaj returned to the UNC after his banishment
for betraying the party and its leader and causing the Panday government to fall
Ramesh L. Maharaj has said he would soon meet with the leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner to discuss "issues of good governance" but also said he is not interested in getting back into electoral politics.

Maharaj was the MP for Tabaquite in the 9th Parliament, which ended when PM Patrick Manning called an election for May 24, 2010 which he lost to the People's Partnership.

Maharaj had been a close ally of Warner prior to that as a member of the Movement for Change that Warner formed with Maharaj and Mayaro MP Winston Peters to try to get change within the UNC.

He ran for the leadership of the UNC in the 2010 internal election against Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar and came in third with fewer than a thousand votes to Persad-Bissessar's 13,000.

Although he had been one of Warner's RAMJACK team, Warner refused to support Maharaj for the leadership and later denounced him as a supporter of the PNM. When Maharaj aligned himself with the PNM in the Round Table to march against the govertnment over the Section 34 issue Warner produced an ad questioning whether Maharaj was working on another "deal' with the PNM.
The ad that questioned if Maharaj was working on another deal with the PNM
The reference to a "done deal" was a plan by Maharaj, who had been fired as Attornery General by PM Basdeo Panday, and MPs Trevor Sudama and Ralph Maraj, to make a deal with then PNM leader Patrick Manning to oust Panday and install Manning as prime minister.

It didn't work. Panday called an election that led to the 18-18 tie and the decision by President Robinson to fire Panday and appoint Manning as PM in 2001.

When Maharaj returned to the UNC in 2007 both Panday and Warner embraced him and Maharaj told UNC supporters his past was irrelevant. Voters rewarded him by giving him their support in Tabaquite, which he won in a hotly contested race against current AG Anand Ramlogan who ran as the candidate for the Congress of the People (COP).

But while Warner was in government and Maharaj had aligned himself with anti-government causes Warner denounced his former partner. That is changing and Warner is ready to embrace Maharaj again.

He announced on Thursday night that he would team up with Maharaj again.
“RamJack has to be recreated and Gypsy could stay up there if he want. But Ramesh and me going down there,” Warner told supporters.

However, Ramesh might not be ready for that. He told reporters he would meet with Warner after Monday's election but only to disucss matters of governance.

“I am not in electoral politics and don’t intend to go back in electoral politics. I have been meeting with the opposition leaders in this country and have been talking with them and even working with some of them on issues of governance and the rule of law," he said.

He said that is the context in which he has agreed to meet Warner who is the interim leader of a new political party. “I cannot talk about what we will agree upon, what we will discuss but I will certainly meet him.” 

He said Warner called him on Thursday and that was their first conversation since the breakup of RAMJACK. 

"I had told Jack Warner at the time that if Kamla Persad-Bissessar became the leader of the UNC and if she became the prime minister of T&T, T&T will be in a crisis situation. 

“He agreed with me that I was right and I am very sorry that I am right because this country is in trouble,” the Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying.

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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