Sunday, February 25, 2018

...PM earning political points, says analyst

 Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar earned political points in taking decisive action against her ministers, says political analyst Dr Winford James.

“I think she has won a lot of mileage for herself here, I think her stocks have gone up. What I don’t know is if such actions are enough to change the minds of the people who have developed a massive distaste for the Government and who have already written it off,” James said, speaking to the Express by phone yesterday.

James said her action to accept the resignation of Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma may help to win back support from the United National Congress (UNC) base and it is to be determined whether the swing voters would be wooed on these actions based on principle.

He said, over the last four years, since the People’s Partnership entered office, there has been a lot of abuse and many wrongdoings that went uncorrected.

The move to accept Sharma’s resignation, said James, was inevitable.

“She has no choice, I think it is a wonderful thing that she has done. Prime ministers, in my recollection, don’t normally act like that so this is unprecedented and she is completely to be congratulated on this move.”

He said while Sharma took a while to tender his resignation, there was no way he could have escaped this course of action.

“How can a minister of government stay in government when everybody everywhere—it is in the public domain—that he physically and verbally abused a lady? How could you possibly remain in Government?”

“That behaviour is condemned by every civilised order,” said James, noting that the United Nations has protocols against the abuse of women.

He said the Congress of the People (COP) has also earned points in this imbroglio as its call for Sharma’s resignation was heeded.

He said if Sharma remained in office, the issue of the COP staying in the Partnership would again arise as the party was founded on the basis of principle and new politics.

James noted that the Prime Minister never heeded the numerous calls of the COP in the past to remove Jack Warner from office based on the allegations of corruption against him.

“The COP could now feel some vindication of the principles that they say they stand on.”

James said there was no need for the Prime Minister to call an early general election in the face of losing two Cabinet ministers in one week.

“I’m not sure calling an election prematurely will help anybody, she has enough people in the Government to continue, maybe a few more will go and we would have a better basis for her to do so, but not now.”