Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 1st 2015 Contents B17
Friday, May 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Why would the Tunapuna seat
return to the hands of the PNM
based on predictions of the latest
Former attorney general Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj believes it is
because Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar s political strategies
are backfiring in favour of the
Speaking about the Guardian
Media Limited latest poll which
ranked Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley ahead of Persad-Bissessar,
Maharaj said Rowley was one of
the most fortunate Opposition
political leaders of all time.
"Rowley doesn t have to cam-
paign. The Prime Minister and the
Partnership is campaigning for him.
They have made him a hero. To
have all parliamentary time devoted
to Rowley has made him a hero,"
He added that he has never seen
the PNM so mobilised.
"In the Tunapuna polls it is
showing how dissatisfied people
are feeling about this government.
The only alternative people have
is the PNM and the more she
attacks Rowley the more support
he is going to get.
"The more she tries to push
down Rowley, he will be like a cork
in water coming up with greater
force. It is really bad strategy they
using," Maharaj added.
He said the motions of no con-
fidence and the motion of censure
have worked to generate support
for Rowley, a man who is not pop-
"Before they started all this,
remember what the polls were
like. Since they started attacking
Rowley, the polls started to change.
"The Prime Minister does not
have a strategy to improve your
rating. If she had called the elec-
tion three months ago, she would
have been in a better position.
Look at what the poll rating was
three months ago," Maharaj said.
Saying the Prime Minister will
be responsible for bringing the
PNM back into office, Maharaj
said when that happened he was
willing to offer his legal services
to bring corrupt State officials to
"I am convinced that I don t
want to get into electoral politics.
I would not and do not want to
be AG under any government but
I am prepared to help any gov-
ernment which wants my expe-
rience and skill to be used to get
at the root of massive corruption.
We can use the law to bring them
to justice and get back the wealth
of T&T," Maharaj said.
He explained that under the
Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA)
laws, T&T could get the bank
records of any State official.
"Those laws were passed when
I was AG but they have never been
used. Either they don t know how
to use it or they don t care to use
it," Maharaj said.
He explained that under the
laws of MLA, government would
assist in tracing where money went
and to whom it was passed.
ON THE MARGIN---TUNAPUNA
recommended that the PNM form
coalitions with small groups to
bring about a national government,
similar to the National Alliance for
"This will build public confidence
in the PNM. If Rowley can get all
the parties together, he can go
forward with a national
government," Maharaj said. He
added that coalition governments
have worked in the United
Kingdom and in several parts of the
"Right now in the UK, you have a
powerful independent party which
have gained seats," Maharaj said.
He explained that T&T was mature
enough to accept independents, as
many voters were not undecided
about the two major political
Maharaj also said within the next
few days the UNC base would
lobby to Persad-Bissessar to call
internal elections which was long
"UNC supporters say if internal
election is not called, they will take
back the UNC. We do not believe
that the UNC and Cabinet is really a
UNC-led government. The UNC
base believes that the internal
elections must be done by an
independent body to prevent any
irregularities," he said.
Maharaj also lamented that the
state of politics had deteriorated
within recent times.
He also said that the
Government had lost support
because of its misuse of
'PNM SHOULD FORM COALITION'
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC
The more she tries to push down Rowley, he will
be like a cork in water coming up with greater
force. It is really bad strategy they using.
--- Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC
A stratified random sample of
300 adults was selected, based on
the polling divisions (PDs) in the
Tunapuna Constituency. The PDs
were stratified based on the size
of the victory of the winning party.
Maps of the selected PD were
used to select the sample house-
holds, based on a start location and
a random walk which interviewers
were required to follow.
Every "nth" household along the
route was selected for interview. A
random process was used (last
birthday) to select an adult within
the household to be interviewed.
Questionnaires were administered
face-to-face by the interviewers.
The margin of error is 5.6 per
The electors in Tunapuna do not
have a particularly good opinion of
Fifty-four per cent don t even
know who their MP is.
Of those who do, 27 per cent have
a favourable opinion of him as an
MP. He fares better as a person.
Thirty-three per cent have a
favourable opinion of him.
At the time of the poll, 67% are
likely to vote. Fourteen per cent
are unlikely and 19% are undecided
if to vote at all.
Most electors are sceptical about the ability of any of the parties to solve the
major problems of the day---most don't know. For all issues but healthcare, the
PNM is seen as best able among those who named a political party.
What are the issues the
Tunapuna electors would like
their MP to deal with?
and unemployment are
the top three issues.
Rising prices: 28%.
Health care: 16%.
Moral values: 10%.
Other specified: 7%.
Racial discrimination: 6%.
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