Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 28th 2013 Contents A24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 28, 2013
As the last of Government s
"annus horribilis" drains away
down an oil slicked route and a blood
drenched crime rate, more than a
few PP members will likely be happy
to see the back of 2013.
Upcoming 2014 however presents
new challenges, harder in some
respects than before, which will shape
the landscape towards 2015 general
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar whose continuing political
currency has helped her survive
intense challenges is however
weighed down by almost four years
of issues including alleged corruption,
governance difficulties and four polit-
ical beatings plus the fall out of the
split with onetime "right hand man"
Jack Warner---all of which stamped
PP with a 2013 "fail" grade.
Apart from how PP recoups from
all this, Persad-Bissessar s post and
UNC s executive will be open for
contest in early 2014, in an expected
general election "test run"---and all
that may bring.
Executive changes may begin
shaping PP s face for the 2015 elec-
torate though Persad-Bissessar s
biggest leadership challenge may lie---
not just in who may contest her
post---but whether she has the polit-
ical gumption, resources and support
for hard decisions concerning the
necessary morphing process. Her
Christmas message calling for har-
mony might have telegraphed PP s
need to consolidate---its 2014 chal-
lenge particularly with party polls
The UNC has been abuzz with
undercurrents since in November a
challenger to Persad-Bissessar could
arise testing her strength. With
changes demanded by an electorate
where the "floating vote" is signif-
icant, Persad-Bissessar (and possibly
Keith Rowley) may be the last eth-
nically traditional leaders of parties
such as UNC and PNM if political
success and not mere survival is to
Whether COP holds leadership
elections or continues to 2015 with
incumbent Prakash Ramadhar---
whose term ends next July---will be
decided by COP s national assembly
on January 26, COP s executive con-
The executive will examine the
issue ahead of Assembly since there
are concerns considering recent
upheaval in COP. It must be "thought
through carefully," officials added.
Concerns about upheaval and pos-
sible benefits for the PP are also
uppermost in PNM quarters con-
cerning its leadership election expect-
ed by April. It will truly test PNM s
fabric after 2013 successes in Tobago,
local government and St Joseph polls.
The group "To Preserve the Bal-
isier" announces its challenger choice
in a couple weeks though PNM lady
vice chairman Penny Beckles is wide-
ly viewed as a contender among at
least two other senior PNMites,
sources said. If chosen, Beckles will
have to prove her merit beyond tra-
ditional mild-mannered character.
Some TPTB members including for-
mer PNM officials held a meeting
to lobby support on a challenger last
week with a "mixed" response, insid-
After Rowley s walkabouts begin
January 6, TPTB launches publicly
in Arima January 8 with mobile
"miking." The expected aggressive
thrust will rattle some PNM chains
though it remains to be seen if suc-
cessful recruitment drives mandated
by PNM s leadership will eventually
weight the contest in his favour and
guarantee him as PP s 2015 chal-
PNM San Fernando East officials
said ex-leader Patrick Manning is
steering clear of the leadership issue
and may not even be on Rowley s
projected January 9 walkabout there.
Warner s grouse about "no cause
to celebrate Christmas" is true due
to his political circumstances. After
failing to lead ILP to victory and los-
ing ground in Chaguanas West,
Warner s hint about offering ILP
leadership for contest by April, has
raised questions who may replace
him after seeking alliances with
(what s left of) NAR, trying to revive
his (dumped) Ramjack project and
coming full circle, mending fences
with (former foe) Basdeo Panday.
It remains to be seen how Warner,
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Pan-
day may affect PP support, given
their chequered history together and
the Opposition leagues the split ties
Panday beginning his constitu-
tional reform tour from mid-January,
said of a possible "Pranjack": "I ve
no political ambitions... I ve spent
enough time on the circuit not to
allow anyone to use me."
For the political landscape ahead
from PP to PNM and "Pranjack"
therefore: running shoes required in
HOT 2014 FOR UNC,
COP, PNM, 'PRANJACK'
Bloody Boxing Day
Murders in Trinidad should be analysed, and I am sure it is, to determine
trends and frequency. Then, resources should be deployed accordingly.
Murder as a result of passion, family in-fighting and other murders by rela-
tives are usually limited to that and in reality, very little can be done to stop
those, as they do not follow any patterns.
Murders, resulting from robberies, are not usually committed by first-time
criminals. Usually there is some trending which end up with murder and
sometimes continue with additional murders.
Gang-related murders are the easiest to predict, but not as easy to defend.
Now the final analysis is murder by age and race. Yes, that bad word race
that we all seem to fear. But remember this, before any solutions can be
found the problems must be identified and accepted as being problems.
Neal and Massy Energy launches probe in Moruga
Six oil spills in one week? This is no coincidence and we should call this for
what it is, which is clearly sabotage. Forget the politics, this is environmental
What are the chances of all these leaks spring up at the very same
time.....that is the question.
The chances are high. The refurbishment and upgrade of the refinery was
completed recently and is now being brought up to full production again. The
supply and distribution infrastructure which has been idle for some time and
much of which is very elderly is now being brought up to full pressure and
flow rates and pipes are bursting. Taps that should have been closed after
tank cleaning operations have been left open in error, a problem which would
not be noticed until the tanks were refilled.
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