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Volney feels vindicated

Survey shows Partnership approval decline

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

FIRED Justice Minister Herbert Volney feels vindicated by the results of the Market Facts and Opinions (MFO) survey commissioned exclusively by the Trinidad Express Newspapers.

The results were published in yesterday's Sunday Express.

The MFO results showed that 63 per cent of those interviewed were "dissatisfied" with the Government's handling of the Section 34 fiasco.

Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011 was prematurely proclaimed on August 31 last year.

This section of the Act would have allowed accused persons with offences committed more than ten years old to apply to have the charges dropped.

Section 34 was eventually repealed and Volney was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for its early proclamation.

"I feel vindicated to see that 63 per cent feel that the Government did not deal with Section 34 and the repeal. They were dissatisfied with how the Government dealt with it and I was always dissatisfied with how the government dealt with it," Volney said.

"I hope the Government takes it (the MFO results) in good faith. Those are my comments," Volney told the Express in a brief telephone interview yesterday.

Volney however seemed more vocal on the JahajeeDesi2005 blog yesterday.

The MFO results showed that Persad-Bissessar has become less popular in the past year, has lost some of the public's respect and there is dissatisfaction with her government's strategies.

Commenting on the results Volney is quoted in the JahajeeDesi2005 blog as stating:

"As a former Cabinet minister enjoying the elected mandate of the people of St Joseph I am happy to see that one serious poll is bearing me out— that the Prime Minister is surrounded by too many sycophants, many unelected, who have not been telling her what she needs to hear— that after 32 months of a 60 month term, her PP (People's Partnership) Government is yet to have any significant developmental achievements.

"This will impact negatively upon the electoral returns in a number of elections due in the interregnum leading up to the 2015 general elections," he stated.

"There are some matters that the Prime Minister needs to put right if she is not to jeopardise a second term in office," Volney stated.

Among the corrective measures Persad-Bissessar should implement is cutting down the size of her Cabinet, "to no more than 15", Volney stated.

Persad-Bissessar increased the number of Cabinet ministers in her government to 33 last July making it the largest Cabinet in this country's history.

"There are some ministers, elected and unelected, who should not sit in her Cabinet. Some in fact lack the intellect and judgment to take national decisions. There are too many unelected ministers," Volney stated.

"I have no intention on ratting on anyone but I always felt that the Cabinet is way too big and unmanageable," he stated.

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