Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Guest commentary: Kamla's victory shows she's in charge of UNC base

UNC leader and PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar after voting in Monday's election
The 2013 local government election proved many analysts wrong. 

In retaining the UNC base, it proved that Kamla Persad Bissessar is the undisputed leader of the UNC, and her position is now beyond challenge. The same cannot be said of Jack Warner or Dr Keith Rowley.

On 14th July, 2013 during the Chaguanas by-election, Professor Selwyn Ryan wrote: "if Jack Warner and his liberals win virally and unequivocally on July 29, the two parties as we know it will become obsolete." 

The electorate has now, once again, proved him wrong.

For many months now, the prime minister was locked in a battle between two menacing men. In fact, the prime minister was fighting two battles. She had to shake off the stigma that Jack Warner brought to the Partnership for the past three years, and she had to deal a blow to the PNM under Dr Rowley, who, after having won a comprehensive victory in Tobago, failed to make any significant inroad south of the Caroni river. 

The three seats that they now hold in Chaguanas are temporary, only because of split voting, in an election coming very soon after the Chaguanas West by-election.

The main threat that concerned the UNC was that posed by Jack Warner and the ILP. This was their focus as they never wanted the UNC base to be split. This in the minds of UNC members and supporters was the most important objective in this election. Now that this mission has been accomplished, Dr Rowley should have cause for worry.

Former NCB chairman Philip Rochford, deconstructed the leadership of Jack Warner in September and that of the prime minister last week. It is a pity that he is yet to deconstruct the leadership of Dr. Rowley. 

Mr Rochford in his deconstruction of Dr Rowley, should tell us if one can be a crusader and a statesman at the same time. But for now, the prime minister has every reason to celebrate. 


After 27 years in politics she has shown that she is a political survivor. Harold Wilson said that a week in politics is a long time. Our prime minister arrived in Great Britain at age 16, when Wilson was prime minister. 

Wilson won four general elections and I am sure the prime minister must have had flashbacks of her stay in England after last night's results. 

Finally, as a reminder, the Economist in April wrote that with two years until the next general election she has time to rebuild her government's reputation, but for Mr Warner it looks like a career endgame. 

The prime minister has already started to rebuild her government and there can be no doubt that her speech on Monday night is that of a buoyant and confident victor. 

She just needs to deal a blow to the PNM by retaining the St Joseph seat. This election also tells us that people will always vote for performance over ole talk.
Congratulations, prime minister, on a splendid performance.

Ronald Bhola | Chaguanas West

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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