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In his footsteps, or his shadow?
On the surface, it looks like the making of a political dynasty. After getting consensus from a large gathering in Chaguanas on Sunday, Mickela Panday is officially following in the footsteps of her famous father to establish a political party. It’s hard to miss the similarities to the late Indira Gandhi, who, like her father Jawaharlal Nehru, was Prime Minister of India, or Benazir Bhutto, following in the footsteps of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan.
Father-daughter comparisons aside, however, Ms Panday may discover that she has embarked on a monumental journey in a very difficult political environment.
The elder Panday, while most present at the Open Forum hosted by his daughter at Gaston Court, did not address the meeting, but his presence drew a lot of interest, as well as greetings and compliments, from many of the people in attendance.
He already has his own distinctive political pedigree having been a pioneer of the United Labour Front (ULF) of the 1970s to 1980s, then founder of the United National Congress, as well as serving as Prime Minister from 1995 to 2001.
To succeed in establishing a political movement strong enough to draw support—and substantial numbers of votes—away from the UNC and the People’s National Movement, Ms Panday must make an early start at carving out her own distinctive political persona and a power base in time for the 2020 election season. Otherwise, she could end up in her father’s shadow. Not a good place for an aspiring political leader
The crisis next door
After an election that many claim was neither free nor fair, Venezuela now faces the possibility of sanctions from some of its Latin and North American neighbours.
If the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia make good on their threats, this could lead to a deepening of the political and socio-economic crisis in that country, with repercussions likely to be felt in bordering countries, such as T&T.
Is Government keeping a close watch on these developments? Is there a clear foreign policy position on Venezuela as the situation goes from bad to worse? It would be good to hear from the usually silent Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses on this developing issue.
Safety through SUNreach
SUNreach, an initiative by the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) which is supported by the Ministry of Education, provides teachers with skills to ensure the safety of their students in the event of medical emergencies. The programme covers schools within the NCRHA’s catchment area but is well worth expanding across the country.
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