Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2013 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013
Q: Mr Ramadhar, are you a spoilsport?
A: (At his Pasea Street, Tunapuna, constituen-
cy office Tuesday afternoon) No I am not.
So why were you so critical of the win by
Jack Warner of the Independent Liberal Party,
describing it as a "most dangerous development
in the politics of our country?"
(A remorseless expression) We respect the right
of the people of Chaguanas West to exercise their
choice. However, we have understood and from what
he has said, a lot of his interaction with his con-
stituents was a result of helping people with his own
What s your problem with that?
Now that may sound laudable, but when you really
analyse what that means is that in the future you
may have others with tremendous money going
into constituencies and purchasing the goodwill
Which is worse, Mr Ramadhar, financing
your own campaign or using state
resources to do so, which all parties in
office have been accused of doing?
Well that is why the COP s position has
been that we need not just campaign finance
reform but party finance reform...that we
would legitimise contributions so that the pop-
ulation would know that no government is in the
pocket of anybody or any group or business.
Did you think, Mr Ramadhar, that the UNC
wold have lost and by that wide margin?
Well there was always that clear possibility
having regards to Mr Warner s popularity in
Chaguanas West and that is why we thought
it necessary to participate in the election.
In terms of what has happened, you may
very well have a future government made up
of persons who are wealthy independently
and that they would be able to purchase
votes, and that is not a healthy thing for
Mr Ramadhar, how would you feel
personally when Mr Warner re-
enters Parliament this time
I will welcome him as a per-
son, as the representative for
Chaguanas West, it is the
decent thing to do, the proper
thing to do. I will never disrespect him as a person.
In retrospect, would you say your immediate
comment on his victory was done emotionally
and perhaps you ought to...?
Not at all. (Resolutely) The remarks made last night
were very clear, and I wanted to be abundantly clear
on what the COP position is and what my position
is. This party may take unpopular positions, but we
will always take positions as we see to be in the
interest of Trinidad and Tobago.
You are in charge of the constitutional reform
exercise of the PP administration and several
promises in this regard were made by the PP
in its 2010 general election campaign, none of
which has yet seen the light of day. Why?
Well, it has seen the light of day to the extent that
we had promised that the new constitution of Trinidad
and Tobago should come from the people of this
To the extent there has been widespread consul-
Where has that reached?
Oh, very far. We have finished the consultation.
We are in the process now of doing a report to the
population and from that we shall go into legislative
drafting to be brought into law.
Mr Minister, when a party is in opposition
they always clamour for proper procurement
legislation as one sure way of dealing with cor-
ruption involving state resources?
It can't be
The People's Partnership administration
needs to reconnect with the people
following the defeat of the main
member of the coalition, the United
National Congress, in last Monday's by-
election in the Chaguanas West
Political Leader of the second largest
grouping in the Government (the
Congress of the People), Minister of
Legal Affairs Prakash Ramadhar
stressed that it cannot be business as
While respecting the wishes of the
Chaguanas West constituents,
Ramadhar reiterated his concern that
the incumbent Jack Warner won the
COP Leader Prakash Ramadhar
on his way to the ceremonial
opening of the Fourth Session
of the Tenth Parliament at the
Waterfront Centre, Port-of-
Spain, on Friday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Continued on Page A9
Ramadhar after Chaguanas West defeat:
with Clevon Raphael
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