Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 26th 2013 Contents A6
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The Government is moving to set
up a child protection registry, says
Minister Gender, Youth and Child
Development Marlene Coudray.
Coudray was contributing to yes-
terday s Senate debate on a private
motion brought by Opposition senator
She said consultations have been
taking place with some 50 community
residences with a view to establishing
standards of care for those residences.
Coudray said when the registry was
established, "reports made of critical
incidents can immediately attract the
right attention and immediate inter-
With respect to the implementation
of the Children s Act, Coudray said
her ministry was training key stake-
holders at the district level with a view
to its implementation.
Earlier, Coudray said there was a
move afoot by an Opposition MP to
gather signatures to take to the Pres-
ident to remove Opposition Leader Dr
This was quickly dismissed by Hinds
in an interview after yesterday s 4.30
adjournment of the Senate.
"All that is small political fluff,"
He said the People s Partnership was
incapable of governing equitably.
Hinds said he expects an estimated
200,000 people to take to the streets
of Port-of-Spain on July 5 to show
their dissatisfaction with the Govern-
The Joint Trade Union Movement
has scheduled a march from Woodford
Square in Port-of-Spain to the Office
of the Prime Minister in St Ann s for
He said the protesters should give
the Government a similar protest to
the one taking place in Brazil and cit-
izens should stay on the streets until
a fresh election was called.
The next general election is due by
It is normal for Government
and Opposition to criticise each
other in Parliament and even in
But in an unprecedented devel-
opment on Monday, the Oppo-
sition People s National Move-
ment used Twitter, a social media
platform, to engage in a live
rebuttal of claims made by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
at a meeting in Cunupia.
Persad-Bissessar was address-
ing the United National Congress
Monday Night Forum in the
Chaguanas West constituency,
when staff working for Opposi-
tion Leader Dr Keith Rowley
began responding to Persad-
Bissessar s remarks, which were
being tweeted by her staff as she
Rowley s staff engaged the PM
around 8.40 pm, after she told
the meeting: "We go forward as
a team, as a partnership."
Rowley s team responded: "A
team of kleptomaniacs?"
The tweets from both Persad-
Bissessar and Rowley s teams were
being sent to the T&T Guardian
and other newspaper Twitter
Persad-Bissessar then told her
meeting that her PP Government
was "dealing with rural neglect
left by the PNM."
Rowley s team responded:
"T&T has never experienced such
neglect and corruption as we have
since May 2010."
In another exchange, Persad-
Bissessar, whose team was tweet-
ing using the handle @PM Kamla,
said: "We shall remain a party
dedicated to do what is right."
Rowley s team, tweeting as @Dr
Keith Rowley, responded: "PP
stands united to bleed our treas-
ury and squander our nation s
The exchanges ended when the
PM concluded her address several
Persad-Bissessar has a follow-
ing of 4,763, follows 469 other
Twitter users and has issued 1,041
tweets, while Rowley has 1,607
followers, is following 90 and has
only tweeted 311 times.
Both political analysts and the
Opposition PNM agree that
although people largely vote
"party" in elections, the Jack
Warner situation in the Chagua-
nas West by-election is unique.
They were asked responses yes-
terday on statements by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
that people "vote for party and
Persad-Bissessar made the com-
ment during the UNC Monday
Political analyst Derek Ram-
samooj said: "The voting motiva-
tional factors historically have been
that of leadership, party, candidate
or a default vote."
"In our political culture it is
apparent that people would vote
for a leader or a party that would
keep them or put them into gov-
ernment," he said.
"In this pending by election in
Chaguanas West, voting for a can-
didate would only be significant
if that candidate will have the
capacity to access the national
resources to improve the quality
of life at the constituency level."
"In the traditional constituencies
such as either Chaguanas West or
Laventille West, party is indeed
paramount whereas in marginal
constituencies the appeal of can-
didates would complement the
elements of party and leader in
securing a victory.
"Notwithstanding the quality of
representation in Chaguanas West,
this election will indicate whether
leadership and party politically
trumps candidate and represen-
"This election is indeed unique,
for if perception becomes reality
and Jack Warner were to run as
an independent candidate then the
electorate will have to make a
choice of whether they wish to
stay in Government and get the
service and benefits of that sector
or whether they ll signal a protest
vote against UNC s leadership.
"One would expect that after
Nomination Day on July 8 the
UNC electorate will galvanise
around the UNC party and its
leadership regardless of who is the
Political scientist Bishnu
Ragoonath said: "Normally people
vote party but I don t know how
it will go down in this by-election."
PNM chairman Franklin Khan
agreed party politics since Dr Eric
Williams time has been rooted in
T&T s political culture in which
party politics is entrenched "and
largely it is difficult for people to
rock that boat."
Khan said though the Warner
situation was unusual, "We in
PNM wait to see how that unfolds,
but party politics is very
entrenched in T&T s political cul-
ture and by and large people vote
for party rather than people,
although the Warner situation is
MSJ s David Abdulah said: "In
local government polls people sup-
port candidates, but overwhelm-
ingly vote party in general polls.
"Clearly UNC hierarchy s
approach in this is to say people
vote party over individual since
the Prime Minister wants members
to vote for UNC s candidate who
may not be Warner," he added.
"This election is very much
about the UNC. This will be an
interesting by-election to see if
the approach of party over indi-
vidual will hold but the bigger issue
is about who is controlling UNC s
base." (See Pages A10 and A11)
to set up
UNC, PNM in war of words on Twitter
Political analysts, PNM on by-election:
Jack can change voting pattern
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