Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2013 Contents A32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 12, 2013
The nightly head-butting among
political parties outside on the
campaign trail hasn t discounted inter-
nal headbutting that has also been
occurring within, on various issues.
All three parties launched campaigns
in areas where they have a foothold.
After assorted withdrawals, only the
PP s members are contesting all 136
seats, with the PNM contesting 135---
without a full slate after many years
of this tradition---ILP 130 and MSJ 16.
The PP, launching in a San Fernan-
do stronghold, continues to focus on
holding such areas threatened by the
ILP split vote. Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar s news at Monday s
meeting of a "wave building towards
PP again," however, translated doubt-
fully following repeated exhortations
to others to "come home."
Whether or not the PP s San Fer-
nando venue was a concession to the
changed fortunes in onetime heartland
Chaguanas---where PP s traditional
event launch was Mid Centre Mall---
the PP returned Monday to Chagua-
nas, now perceived as Jack Warner s
Allegations about certain ILP nomi-
nees which PP s Roodal Moonilal
utilised Monday cast enough of a
shadow on Warner s picks for Warner
to clarify the issue subsequently and
accuse PP of "gangster"contracts on
the Duncan Street police post .
Within PP, different statements from
National Security Minister Gary Grif-
fith on blacklisting gangsters from
state contracts and Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan s urging of caution
have placed Government on a
tightrope---Ramlogan describes it as
"healthy tension"---balancing national
security and respect for law on pre-
sumption of innocence and equality.
Griffith said yesterday, "There s no
head-butting. The AG was talking
about the present situation. I m talk-
ing about future contracting. It goes
beyond policy and is straight ethical
commonsense to ensure gangsters
don t get contracts. We re on the same
Since Ramlogan was as vociferous
on going after gang leaders during the
2011 state of emergency, as Griffith is
now, it remains to be seen how PP s
credibility will fare with this issue,
Some ILP officials meanwhile say
they were concerned about some
party choices for candidate, including
the Morvant candidate now before the
courts, still on ILP s slate. ILP s Indra
Maharaj said a southern candidate---
whom Moonilal talked about---was
dropped and five Port-of-Spain candi-
dates who were to file papers didn t
After launching from Chaguanas
home base with an "Uncle Jack" god-
father-type drawing-card, Warner on
Monday entered PP heartland, Couva.
But also of hope to ILP---now project-
ing a "sixish" corporation win--- are
As well, whether or not the PNM
wishes to detract from Persad-Bisses-
sar s claim of a "PNM/ILP conspira-
cy," the PNM hinted in Chaguanas
recently, ILP is now PNM s challenge .
Some PNM handlers, claiming
PNM s tracking polls noted this last
week, added, "We thought we d be
fighting COP in the East-West Corri-
dor, but it s the enemy of my enemy
who used to be my friend is now my
While southern PNMites are assess-
ing the impact which 1,000-plus HDC
houses alllocated under the PP may
have on voting patterns, they re confi-
dent ILP s San Fernando meeting---
reportedly modest---showed less slip-
page of PNM support there than PP.
Several PNM handlers and officials
are, however, upset about PNM leader
Keith Rowley s gaffe at the St James
meeting, when he reportedly called
COP members "idiots." Some blamed
it on the heavy campaign schedule,
that Rowley wasn t speaking from a
speech, or was "carried away."
The unstatesman-like smack, setting
a poor example, shaved points off
Rowley s national leadership bid, as it
denoted intolerance of things non-
PNM. It remains a point of concern
regarding a prime ministerial aspirant
and the PNM as an alternative gov-
ernment. (Or perhaps PNM s govern-
ment plan envisages light schedules
and written speeches.)
The PNM, very confident of eight
corporation seats, launched in its
Port-of-Spain stronghold and is less
worried now by PP s pre-problem
boasts of targeting the capital. That
hasn t been heard lately.
PNM hopes to cement its bid for
government with St Joseph candidate
Terrence Deyalsingh, who, if victori-
ous, is expected to strengthen the
PNM s Lower House team. Deyalsingh,
appointed by Rowley, is also expected
to maintain the leadership s status quo
on that bench, whose members were
selected during the Manning adminis-
POLITICAL 'ENEMIES,' 'IDIOTS'
& RETURNEES 'COMING HOME'
Spanish: I'm just foreman at
Duncan Street police post
Yes, employment will help---how many of them want
to work? What is their preference? Getting work at
HDC or WASA or TSTT requires a level of schooling.
Are they ready for such jobs...?
JCC wants debate on its procurement bill
There needs to be a public hearing on any
procurement legislation. We need to study the entire
draft procurement bill before it is tabled in Parliament.
They must think we are knaves. These are the same
two parties who for years brought no procurement
legislation to parliament.
Now they want to present a bill without a public
hearing so they could vote on measures we haven't
seen and on measures that will continue the same
improper awarding of contracts.
AG: Stop passing the buck
The AG needs to review the video of his daily
appearances on national TV in the early days of the
SOE. My recollection is that the AG was quite sure
then who the gang leaders and members were and
with much bravado he put them on notice that they
would be arrested.
At that time he was sure he had evidence against
them. I remember that in his usual style he warned
them that a special prison was being prepared for
For some reason the AG dropped out of these daily
briefings and left the police to face the public. Perhaps
one day he will explain what happened. Here we go
again placing the police between a rock and a hard
place. Instead of talking about discriminatory lawsuits
after the fact, he needs as the AG to review the
contracts before they are given to these contractors
so that all personnel employed in the project (including
the contractor) are required to vetted and contain
provisions for veto by the client.
The AG is right. If there is evidence that these are
gang leaders then the police must act. The CoP said
there was evidence. Then why was this gang leader
given a contract?
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