Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 7th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 7, 2015
The Joint Trade Union Movement
(JTUM) yesterday renewed their call
for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar to call the election now.
Speaking outside the Parliament
building, Waterfront Complex,
Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain,
JTUM s general secretary Ozzi War-
wick held aloft the Mother Goose
effigy as he said the Prime Minister
was ultimately responsible for the
decisions made by Government.
"Regardless of whether she fires
ministers around her or not, she is
the leader of the Government. She
is ultimately responsible and cannot
abdicate her responsibility by simply
firing those around her who she feels
may not be loyal to her," he added.
The group gathered minutes before
the start of yesterday s session which
convened at 1.30 pm.
The session began with a debate
to amend the Motor Vehicles Act.
Calling for a new mandate from
the people of T&T, Warwick said:
"The electorate needs to be able to
decide, so in other words we need to
go to the polls. Call the election now.
The Government has collapsed, the
Government has lost legitimacy and
the Government has lost the mandate
it got five years ago."
Its demand mirrors that of the
People s National Movement.
Warwick called on acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams to
broaden his investigation into the
issue involving former National Secu-
rity Minister Gary Griffith, Police
Complaints Authority Director David
West and Opposition Leader Dr Keith
"The PM was unable to condemn
outright the actions of Anand Ram-
logan but she was quick to accuse
these other persons.
"It is alleged that the entire Cabinet
had asked for Gary Griffith to with-
draw his statement. In fact, everyday,
more names are being revealed. We
therefore call on the Commissioner
of Police to broaden his investigation
into this issue," he added.
He was referring to a complaint
filed by West to the police accusing
Ramlogan of trying to induce him to
withdraw his witness statement in a
civil lawsuit with and offer of the
On Monday, the PM announced
the sacking of Ramlogan and Griffith
and called on West to step down.
Guyana s Alliance for Change (AFC)
vice-chairman, Moses Nagamootoo,
is not giving the country s two main
opposition parties much of a chance
in the May 11 elections if they choose
to run as separate entities.
The former PPP minister and possible
presidential candidate said in an inter-
view with T&T Guardian, conclusive
negotiations with the majority opposi-
tion, A Partnership for National Unity
(APNU), on a "pro- democracy alliance"
would make the difference between suc-
cess and failure in the electoral show-
down announced more than a year ahead
The ruling People s Progressive Party
(PPP) has been running the country as
a minority government short of a single
seat in the 65-member National Assem-
bly since 2011. The APNU holds 26 seats
and the AFC, seven.
The situation precipitated the eventual
proroguing of Parliament on November
10 and the calling of early elections on
Nagamootoo, a former journalist who
now practices law, said the current chal-
lenge was whether the PPP can gain a
very small percentage of additional votes
in order to command a majority in Par-
liament. In 2011, the ruling party received
the support of 48.62 per cent of the
He added: "The question in this elec-
tion is if we go three-way, the votes are
split. It is likely in a three-way contest
that the PPP can get 50 per cent...that
(extra) 1.4 per cent while there is no
guarantee that the AFC can improve
from 11 per cent to 50 per cent or that
APNU can move from 40 per cent to
50 per cent in a three-way contest.
"It s sheer arithmetic and common
sense. It is a dire necessity that you have
to talk coalition politics. The alternative
to that is political madness."
Discussions on a pre-election coalition
resumed on Monday and are to continue
this coming weekend. APNU commu-
nications director, Mark Archer, told
T&T Guardian "several models of lead-
ership and governance" are being
"The negotiators are working on a
timetable of mid-February," he said.
"Everything is on the table," he added.
Meanwhile, leading government offi-
cials are not giving the talks much chance
of success. PPP general secretary and
minister of home affairs, Clement Rohee,
said the parties would need "Houdini"
in order to succeed and he told the T&T
Guardian a coalition would be the "kiss
of death" for both parties.
President adviser on governance, Gail
Teixeira, has also chimed in with a
description of the proposed alliance as
"a marriage of convenience."
Archer, however, responded that the
ruling party should pay greater attention
to good governance instead of "paying
so much attention to our domestic mat-
On the table for further discussion
are a joint development programme for
the two parties, the leadership structure
of the alliance, the potentially con-
tentious nomination of presidential and
prime ministerial candidates and the
allocation of seats under the current list
system of proportional representation.
Protest outside Parliament...
JTUM demands election now
Members of 3Canal during their annual concert RAW at Queens Hall, St Ann's, on Friday night.
PHOTO: DAVID WEARS
must not fail
Vice-chairman of Guyana's AFC party:
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