Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2015 Contents A5
Monday, February 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Political analyst on
UWI/ANSA McAL poll...
vote for party
Political analyst Dr Winsford James says the latest poll con-
ducted by UWI/ANSA McAL clearly shows an increasing num-
ber of people wanting the Opposition to form the next gov-
ernment despite an increase in support for incumbent Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to retain that post.
James was commenting on the poll which was published in
yesterday s Sunday Guardian. He said the poll shows the general
findings of previous samples.
In the poll Persad-Bissessar emerged as the preferred choice
for Prime Minister garnering 34 per cent of the votes, while
Rowley received 24 per cent. Some 25 per cent of the respondents
James noted, however, the latest poll gave the PNM a bigger
lead, while it also showed more people favour Persad-Bissessar
to lead the government than Dr Keith Rowley.
James said it was emerging as a popularity contest between
the leaders. He said, however, "It is not the PM who wins elec-
tions but political parties and the PNM will win."
He said the poll showed that Persad-Bissessar was enjoying
a level of popularity even though her "government was rotten
to the core. She is trying to rehabilitate things, to turn the tide
by the toughness of her decisions."
Only last week Persad-Bissessar sacked Anand Ramlogan as
attorney general, Gary Griffith as national security minister and
Emmanuel George as justice minister.
Ramlogan and Griffith were asked to resign over an allegation
of witness tampering against Ramlogan by Police Complaints
Authority director, David West.
James said while Persad-Bissessar was seen by the population
as not being responsible for those developments, the former
ministers were appointed by her. "It was her judgment in most
cases," he added.
He said the poll showed she was a leader who was "surrounded
He insisted "in the end the PNM will benefit."
And former prime minister Basdeo Panday said a poll was
simply a poll of what people were thinking at a particular time.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Panday said the PP Gov-
ernment had short-changed the population as it did not deliver
value for money. He said Peoples Partnership made many prom-
ises but failed to deliver. He said it spent some $200 billion and
there was "no value for money."
Panday admitted the Government did fix some drains but
a tremendous cost to the treasury. He said it also stared some
Panday said he welcome a probe into alleged witness tampering
involving former Ramlogan. He said the probe must me a mean-
ingful one and there should be no cover up.He said if there was
a cover up the entire exercise would be meaningless.
Movement for Social Justice leader
David Abdulah says T&T can expect
more allegations and controversies
as government continues with its
attempts to shift away from critical
issues of governance.
Abdulah urged citizens not to be
swayed by diversions, "noise and chat-
ter" away from the real issues in the
controversy involving former attorney
general Anand Ramlogan, Police Com-
plaints Authority director David West
and former national security minister
Abdulah, addressing a media con-
ference yesterday at the party s head-
quarters in St Joseph Village, San Fer-
nando, said the legitimacy of the
Peoples Partnership regime "contin-
ues to be brought into serious ques-
"There will be many more allega-
tions being made in the future because
of the nature of this government. The
manipulation, the abuse of office, try-
ing to use the loopholes of the law.
More is going to come," Abdulah said.
He said the call by Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, on Monday,
for President Anthony Carmona to
remove West was "unwarranted."
He said, after that call for the last
six days the media has been focusing
"not on the alleged wrongdoing by
Mr Ramlogan, but has been focused
on the whistleblower, so to speak, Mr
He said the issue has been kept alive
by the revelations by Griffith of other
ministers being implicated in an
attempt to have him withdraw his
Government, he said, has attempted
to weave a web of deception and now
the Government is "tangled up in it
(the web of deception)" and the Prime
Minister is at the centre of that entan-
"The Government is attempting to,
with all this chatter and all this noise,
have the population of T&T take their
eyes of the ball and lost sight of the
real issue, which is, what Mr Ramlogan
is alleged to have done," Abdulah said.
Abdulah said he was unfazed by
yesterday s UWI/Ansa Mc AL Psy-
chological Research Centre poll which
gave him a one per cent popularity
rating for the Prime Minister.
He said he was not in a popularity
contest and what should be of concern
is one third of the poll had rejected
both Persad-Bissessar and Rowley.
The board of Trinidad
Cement (TCL) on Friday
passed a resolution to raise
a maximum of $362 million
in new capital through a
rights issue of 124,882,568
new shares at a price of
$2.90 a share.
The TCL shareholders will
be offered the right to pur-
chase one new share for every
two shares they hold.
The $2.90 rights issue price
is a 24.5 per cent premium
of TCL s share price as at the
close of trading on Friday.
The rights issue means that
an individual investor who
owned 10,000 TCL shares
(which were worth $23,300
on Friday) would have the
right to purchase 5,000 more
shares at a price of $2.90
each, (investing an additional
$14,500 in the cement pro-
ducer). The investor would
then own 15,000 TCL shares,
which would be worth
$43,500 as the TCL share
price is expected to increase
If all of TCL s shareholders
subscribe for the 124.88 mil-
lion shares being offered in
the rights issue, the number
of shares in issue by company
will increase by 50 per cent
from 249,765,136 to
In a brief interview yester-
day, TCL chairman Wilfred
Espinet said in establishing
the terms of the rights issue,
the board took into consid-
eration the shareholders sit-
uation especially the fact that
they have gone for eight years
without a dividend and have
suffered a diminution in the
value of their shares.
He noted the rights issue
price is "substantially more
than what the gurus had
anticipated," an apparent ref-
erence to comments made by
TCL watchers, including the
company s former CEO Rollin
In a letter published in the
Guardian on January 6,
Bertrand predicted that "the
shares will be issued at $1.90
or US$0.30 per share," as
"shares issued during a rights
issue are normally offered at
a discount." He also estimated
that the rights issue price
would result in a 66 per cent
ORIENT BY FIVE
Young masqueraders from the band Journey Through The Orient parade during the Junior Parade of Bands along the
Western Main Road St James yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Abdulah: Expect more allegations
MSJ-OPPOSES CEMEX/TCL BUY-OUT ATTEMPT
Abdulah also raised serious
objection to any attempt by Mexican
transnational cement firm Cemex to
increase its shareholding in Trinidad
Abdulah urged shareholders
against passing that resolution, since
it will give Cemex, which already has
20 per cent, the opportunity to force
a take-over of TCL.
"We oppose the resolution for the
removal of that 20 per cent cap. We
do not agree with the loss of
important assets that have been
acquired by people in the region over
a long period of time," he said.
He said if Cemex gets 39 or 40 per
cent it would force a takeover,
according to stock market rules.
The MSJ leader added that if
Cemex is allowed to take ownership
of TCL there will be job losses in T&T
and the company's Barbados and
Jamaica cement factories.
TCL approves rights issue at 24 per cent premium dilution.
And yesterday, in a letter pub-
lished in the Sunday BG, Bertrand
described the rights issue as "a
bad deal for all shareholders
except Cemex," and asserting that
"due to the high dilution it will
permanently condemn TCL s
shares to the basement and the
price may go lower than the IPO
price of $0.75."
Minority shareholder advocate
Peter Permell said the publication
of the rights issue notice raised
a number of questions, including:
have TCL shareholders resident
in Jamaica and Barbados also been
notified of the rights issue; does
the issue require shareholder
approval and will the board be
issuing a directors circular.
One TCL individual sharehold-
er said the rights issue was being
priced to attract institutions and
not individuals, but that there
was a probability that the share
price would go up to $2.90 in the
TCL is due to host a special
shareholders meeting today to
consider and vote on the removal
of the 20 per cent cap on a single
shareholder owning the compa-
ny s shares.
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