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All the evidence of being politically dead was scrolled across the face and occupied the being of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as she sought to lead the living to the political graveyard in a dance of death, political death to be sure.
It was the danse macabre in motion as the Prime Minister fired, reshuffled the pack and sought desperately to engage the living, whom she hopes will save her, the United National Congress and the Congress of the People (the latter now existing in a comatose state) from the wrath of the electorate taken for a ride by the People’s Partnership of 2010.
This tragi-comedy has all of the ingredients which exist in the DNA of the diseased political culture: corruption, nepotism, political skullduggery, messianic worship of leaders, riotous comedy, the dismantling of institutions, the cabinet being the foremost of those, the playing of the race game, naked electioneering, all taking precedence over sound judgment in a Prime Minister seeking to bring quality governance to a country.
In 2010, Manning and the PNM were overtaken by the diseased politics of messianic leadership; Manning’s attempts to return in 2015 without redemption, without holy water poured on him, is confirmation of the political “malcadee” that afflicts the polity of T&T.
Now in government, a body which better facilitates the opportunities for the cancer to spread to the economy, the polity, into law-making and in the social, cultural and ethnic relations of the society, the politics of the UNC and the COP is threatening to contaminate the society.
The evidence of the claim of corrupted political culture was displayed in the Prime Minister’s statement. Forced at last, as in the instance of Jack Warner, to relieve the country of Ramlogan, she went as far as she could to protect her chosen one; the one she was warned against but considered his political loyalty to be a more important disposition to all other considerations, said David Abdulah.
She could barely utter a word of criticism against Ramlogan, who it must not be forgotten, is at the centre of the bacchanal. Instead she sought to transfer blame to Griffith and Rowley for not bringing matters to her attention but left out her Attorney General even though he had every opportunity and responsibility to inform her of David West’s witness statement.
She saved some of her severest criticism for West, who dared to accuse the chosen one. And typical of the political blame game that is politics in T&T, the Prime Minister sought to make the Leader of the Opposition the chief offender: if he had only informed her before she agreed to appoint West to the PCA, all of this would have been avoided; Ramlogan would have behaved himself and she the Queen, the innocent and much-wronged party, would have scuttled it all.
A classic example of “unresponsibility” for her own constitutional duty to thoroughly scrutinise appointments to senior state positions; no different from her appointment of Reshmi; her plucking of a volatile and voluble Volney from the judiciary and several other misfits she has placed in the cabinet and elsewhere in the state sector.
Similarly, most of her choices for replacements are in the main determined by Anancy politics and an election campaign in which her UNC has to perform miracles to recapture the East-West Corridor. The new political leader of NJAC is slipped in; a lightweight attorney (Garvin Nicholas) is made attorney general; he is likely to be compliant and he could do with a little exposure if he is to contest the Diego Martin North-East seat.
Brent Sancho, the new black man, reportedly being cultivated to be handed a seat in a UNC Indo-dominated Chaguanas East. Christine Newallo-Hosein, someone brought into the politics by Warner and someone who possesses the right mixture of ethnicity and name to contest Tunapuna, forget the COP.
Oh, incidentally, she gave more sense of significance to COP leader, Prakash, more weight to indulge and delude himself of having political significance, while downgrading “Hurricane George” whose fury has fizzled.
And yes Stacy, you have to be moved out of the way as the ministry awards a lucrative contract to a friendly contractor who is expected to “run something.” Of all the new appointments made there can be justification for only one, retired Brigadier General Carl Alfonso, and that is understandable, it is one portfolio that cannot allow for any further slippage in the pre-election months ahead. One expects that the retired Brigadier will not in any way sully his outstanding service to date.
The Prime Minister’s dance of death was inevitable. She and her government have spent almost five years engaging in the most destructive politics conceivable. The present melodrama, which will only expand, is the natural culmination. The Government has effectively collapsed in office and if the previous calls for naming the election date now were provocative, they are now justified.
In the same manner as she articulated that her AG and National Security Minister cannot function, having been severely compromised, the Government is similarly compromised and therefore cannot stand.
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