Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2013 Contents A13
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UNC EXECS MEET
The defection of former Senate
vice-president Lyndira Oudit to Jack
Warner s Independent Liberal Party
(ILP) is a big deal, says Tobago-based
political analyst Dr Winford James.
His view is contrary to what he
described as Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar s dismissive attitude
toward the matter.
"It is a big deal," James told the
Guardian yesterday in response to ques-
tions on Oudit s resignation on Monday
from her senatorial appointment and
the UNC party.
"She was the vice-president of the
Senate. To have gotten there, she would
have had to be an important person.
"The Prime Minister displayed dis-
missiveness and unnecessary arrogance
in the face of the departure of such an
important person. She would have done
better to be more statesmanlike, to have
a more peace-generating approach.
"These people don t know how to
make amends, appease an already
wounded population, regain lost
ground. Oudit s defection might be sig-
nalling other defections," James said.
He said an arrogant attitude will not
help the UNC since there is already the
feeling that many others in the Gov-
ernment are also that way.
"They should be trying to redeem
themselves. If they lost ground, they
did so through their own actions."
Asked to comment on the possibility
of PNM supporters defecting to the
ILP, which Warner has said will happen,
James said: "If you are talking about
the local government and general elec-
tions, there is no question PNM sup-
porters will be supporting anybody
other than the PNM.
"The PNM has been an established
party for a long time but some disen-
chanted supporters can possibly switch
"The PNM has work to do. It will
not have a smooth sailing into govern-
ment because of the blunders of the
People s Partnership Government."
Asked if Warner could take a PNM
stronghold like Laventille like he did
with Chaguanas West, he replied: "It s
possible, except that Warner has a track
record of representation in Chaguanas
"It s too early to make pronounce-
ments. It all depends on which party
establishes credibility in a climate of
Maukesh Basdeo, assistant lecturer
in the Behavioural Sciences Department
at the University of the West Indies,
had a different view of the PM s reaction
to Oudit s resignation.
"No, it was not arrogance on the
part of the Prime Minister. She was
just indicating the position of her party
and herself as Prime Minister."
Basdeo believed the UNC down-
played the impact of Oudit s departure,
Political analyst takes Kamla to task...
Members of the UNC party executive, from left, Works and Infrastructure Minister Suruj Rambachan,
defeated Chaguanas West candidate Khadijah Ameen, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Housing
Minister Roodal Moonilal and Gender Affairs Minister Marlene Coudray at the party's meeting at Reinzi
Complex, Couva, Wednesday evening. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
"She was vice-president of the
Senate, an important position. The
UNC will have to find a replace-
Noting that Oudit s intention to
shift allegiances was "interesting,"
Basdeo said it is an indication there
are people willing to leave the party
at the legislative level.
At the same time, he said, he
can also understand why the UNC
would not view her defection as
having a very big impact.
"If she was a parliamentary rep-
resentative, she would have moved
with her constituency."
Basdeo recalled that even before
the July 29 Chaguanas West by-
election, there were UNC coun-
cillors who indicated they were
willing to join the ILP.
"The life of a councillor comes
to an end, and with the upcoming
local government elections you
might see more councillors cross-
ing to the ILP."
Asked if the People s Partnership
(PP) Government was dying, Bas-
deo said it was only going through
an evolutionary process.
"We are now seeing two off-
shoots of the UNC, the Congress
of the People and the ILP."
He said a realignment of her
Cabinet may be a good move by
Persad-Bissessar at this time and
said the PP has two years before
the general election to make
Lyndira's defection to
ILP a big deal---James
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