Kamla Is A National Embarassment

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar
“…………her inability to free herself from shady Minister of National Security, Mr. Jack Warner…………..”
Mahogany Coconut, 10/25/12: Trinidad and Tobago a Political Tragedy.
When we listed Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar failures, we were not exposing them in glee but were focused on the well being of Trinidad and Tobago. The egg that is now on the face of the Prime Minister is not any gleeful victory for us but a sad spectacle of a leader, fully engaged in the politics of cannibalism. Having eaten everybody, cannibals eventually eat each other; it is the law of the rapidly growing Caribbean political jungle.
Mr. Jack Warner has been literally cast out of the United National Congress and the upcoming by-election, is nothing more than power grabbing exposed for the world to witness. It is  of no real value to improving good governance. Money will flow, and the poor voters will perhaps enjoy an early Christmas but  the Mighty Sparrow once said: We like it so.
  Even if the UNC retains the seat, it would have been achieved by brutal blood letting. Should Mr. Warner be victorious, it would be seen as a mammoth endorsement of corruption and would make Trinidad and Tobago the laughing stock of the region. Mr. Warner’s ego would achieve universal growth and he would consider himself the real iron man in the country. As sad as it sounds, such a scenario is very possible. As for the PNM, success in this by-election would be a major shock and it could mean some improvement in Dr.Keith Rowley’s political fortunes.
We have been very reluctant to totally declare Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar a complete political failure but her current actions demonstrate she is no longer acceptable as a leader of Trinidad and Tobago. She is now joining those who long ago declared that Mr. Warner was not fit for public office. It shows that she is representative of the growing breed of Caribbean politicians, who believe that they can treat their citizens with nothing but contempt. It proves the old saying that: You cannot be in the bed with the dog and escape the fleas. It also is a very real reminder that power, political crassness and naked opportunism have no gender bias. We urge Caribbean women, who desire to make a political contribution, to avoid using her as a role model.
 Auntie Kamla is swimming in the same political cesspool as Uncle Jack and it is now obvious that they carry the same stench. She is a national embarrassment. He is a national disgrace.


Allegations against Jack show up PM’s failure

Perhaps there is something to Mr Jack Warner’s claim that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her close Cabinet associates have gone into a panic mode early in the Chaguanas by-election campaign. 

This sense of desperation was apparent in her attack against her former minister Monday night at the party’s election meeting, she departing from her script to make unprecedented allegations against the man who brought her through campaigns for the political leadership of the United National Congress and was central to her being elected Prime Minister in May 2010.

Much of what she had to say against Mr Warner became far more of an indictment against her as Prime Minister. The allegations merely showed up her failure to adequately perform her job in the interest of the nation. The glaring examples of that failure was her announcement that her national security minister refused to attend conferences abroad on behalf of T&T and that by her telling, he and his family are wanted by US authorities to answer questions. How did she tolerate such positions taken and information received?

The former Fifa vice president was not an unknown quantity. He had a record of controversy and allegations against him going back more than 20 years. Notwithstanding such a reality, she accepted Mr Warner’s assistance to overcome Mr Basdeo Panday for political leadership of the UNC and then had him as the flag waver for her general election campaign.

Elected to office, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar ignored all warnings from several quarters that she was taking quite a risk to place Mr Warner in her Cabinet given the years of very serious allegations made against him as a Fifa executive.

When the query was raised by Fifa about Minister Warner’s involvement with Asian football president Mohammed bin Hammam in a US$1 million deal to bribe officials of the Caribbean Football Union, she pleaded ignorance of Fifa’s operations and said it had nothing to do with her government and the people of T&T.

When her minister refused to go to a Fifa investigation to clear his name, preferring to resign his position in the organisation, she did nothing. When he similarly refused to appear before the international Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) on the same matter, she remained quiet. 

And when the CAS concluded in July 2012 that Mr Warner appears to be prone to an economy with the truth, that he has made numerous statements as to events that are contradicted by other persons, and his own actions are marked by manifest and frequent inconsistency, she only found him a liability on Monday last. “You cannot separate those matters from his position as a minister, since it has the potential to do irreparable damage to the Government and the image of our country,” she said.

Instead of being concerned about the international allegations being made against him, she appointed Mr Warner to act as prime minister in her absence. It is an understatement to say that having done nothing to demand her minister clear his name from the allegations in the interest of the country, she has forfeited all rights to now make observations about his alleged doings. Only those who give blind loyalty to her will now accept her new awakening.

On the other hand, for Mr Warner to face the Chaguanas West electorate with any kind of credibility, he must give full explanations to those looking on at this circus of incredulity. Meanwhile, the missteps, inappropriate actions of the Government, Cabinet and its ministers are becoming more frequent and outrageous. Quality governance is sadly lacking.

(Trinidad Guardian Editorial Tuesday July 2nd.2013)
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