Warner gaining momentum as Govt weakens, says analyst
Political analyst and Express columnist Dr Winford James said yesterday that interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner’s brand of politics is gaining momentum as the ruling People’s Partnership “weakens”.
Asked to analyse Warner’s political momentum, he said the Chaguanas West MP stood a chance going forward in the politics of the country.
“In our suddenly very dynamic political context, he stands a chance. The United National Congress (UNC) is weakening, and the People’s National Movement (PNM) is not presenting alternative approaches or policies, and Jack Warner is on a momentum.”
James added however that “success in Chaguanas West is a different kettle of fish from success anywhere else”.
And while he admitted in an interview it was “too early to talk sensibly” about Warner’s chances in the local government election, consti-
tutionally due by October 26, James said there was no doubt Warner was on the “prowl”.
“He is on the prowl as we speak, taking in front, trying to keep the momentum going. But the UNC is trying to douse his fire with a probable delay about the date of these elections. We’ve got to wait and see; too early to talk sensibly.”
James believes Warner’s brand of politics has national appeal, saying he has followers everywhere.
“Yes, it does have appeal. He has fans and believers everywhere. People are impressed by his style of representation —a reaction, it seems, to the under-representation over the years from the major parties. Outside of Chaguanas West, they hope for some of what he can give,” the Tobago-born University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer explained.
James believes “without a doubt”, the ILP will pose trouble for the UNC in the future.
”They will present themselves as the alternative to the UNC. But we do not know yet how that will develop and play out,” he added.
With Warner’s boast that the ILP will make inroads into PNM strongholds, especially along the East-West Corridor, James was of the view the PNM was at risk if it did not show itself to be critically different from the UNC.
He said: “It won’t be walkover for them.”
He said of Warner: “We can make a few observations: One is that he is an international achiever; two, he is fabulously rich and has been generous to many; three, many find him likable and charming close up, he is an engaging rogue; and four, he counterpoints the corruption and ineffectiveness of the major parties.”
Asked what he thinks about Warner’s chances in Tobago, James said there was time yet to see how that turns out.
According to him, “Tobago becomes important again in 2015 (general election) which is a long way away.”