Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2014 Contents A28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 24, 2014
It was no contest. Yesterday s Red
Force Plus (JTUM) downtown
marchers easily outnumbered yel-
low-clad PP members who ringed
the Parliament supporting govern-
"That was just a sample, tomor-
row (today s PP rally) will be bigger,"
said government MP Collin Partap.
It was fairly quiet before Parlia-
ment proceedings. Even the COP s
Anil Robert, save for joining a PP
chorus occasionally, was unusually
subdued. The parliamentary atmos-
phere---though broken by PNM Mar-
lene McDonald s outbursts---was like-
ly the only calm amid the impending
storm of general election weather
which JTUM s march heralded.
The PP s reply to opposition forces
comes today when the Government
officially launches its general election
campaign at its fourth anniversary
rally in Central.
PP ads declaring "Six years More"
telegraphed Government s intent for
its last year of office plus another
five year term. The coalition has
adopted a year s headstart to pull out
of steep political challenges blocking
a second term, after spending most
of its first, in the "red" where per-
formance debits outweigh its credits.
Observances and morale boosters
will abound in the Prime Minister s
address today. Cause for real celebra-
tion, however, is debatable.
Long on unpopularity due to per-
ception of mismanagement and cor-
ruption, short on popularity even
with deep infrastructural and associ-
ated delivery and fending off a credi-
bility crisis, how the PM will negoti-
ate and present this mix in a manner
to effectively fire up troops---and
attract more---remains to unfold.
PP s 2010 platform is riddled by
reality. The coalition is 13 junior and
senior ministers down---several for
specific infractions---minus MSJ, and
facing COP and TOP fragmentation.
It remains to be seen how credible
the plans, and policies PP starts
revealing today---and new faces
expected ahead---will be.
PP officials say MPs are on notice
of a 80-90 per cent change in the
election line-up ahead. It remains to
be seen if this will inject the
strengths PP requires for its political
salvation. Including whether it will
refine PNM s fighting ferocity tactics
to a new level for the battle. And
whether PP s solutions will stand
amid myriad foul-ups which have
Indeed, Thursday s TV6 Port-of-
Spain town meeting, skillfully chaired
by Fazeer Mohammed, reflected the
anger of northern residents who ver-
bally attacked PP s Bhoe Tewarie and
DOMA s Gregory Aboud on issues,
some of which their PNM MPs and
PNM-controlled city corporation
were responsible for. PNM MPs and
corporation officials didn t attend.
The situation, however, also
reflected the disconnect developing
in T&T over 50 years resulting in a
majority of impatient, angry and
uninformed, compared with small
groups of decision-makers who will
always face criticism, no matter what
administration. Apart from address-
ing internal ills, PP s external fight
from today targets Opposition Leader
Keith Rowley, Prime Minister-in-
waiting, after PNM s internal election
and his perceived inability to unite
T&T. The PP is also eyeing benefits
from PNM election fall-out.
Yesterday s march granted a fuller
picture of the overall opposition
challenge. While the PP "parties" in
Central today, the PNM s general
council is analysing its internal poll,
which previewed the PNM s general
Re-election has reinforced the pin-
nacle of strength Rowley gained with
three election victories. Indeed,
Tobago, where Rowley s first (THA)
election victory arrived, had the
highest number of participatory votes
in the PNM election, Murchison
However, a low (20 per cent) voter
turnout has raised questions of
PNMites interest in the process and
choices offered. On a high after the
election and march, the PNM, how-
ever, would obviously prefer a gener-
al election sooner rather than later,
though the Government is deter-
mined to go to full term.
How divided Rowley s "ship"
remains after PNM s election
depends on him. While Team Rowley
gained a total of 296,180 votes wal-
loping Team Penny s 17,516 total
(under PNM estimates), reported
radio statements he won t be "mol-
lycoddling" anyone raises queries on
the extent of party healing.
Defeated contestant Mariano
Browne says his services are open to
"Team PNM if required."
Team Penny s Nileung Hypolite,
marching with Rowley yesterday, says
Rowley worked in 2014 with people
who opposed him in 2010, "So I see
It now remains to be seen how all
these factors play out along the road
We the citizenry of T&T are
crying every day that crime
is out of hand. The cry is what are
the police doing to solve this epi-
demic? Those words are also
painted in the daily press---low
crime detection rate and corrupt
Now who are the criminal ele-
ments and who are the police?
First, let's deal with the criminal,
where he or she came from to
reach this place called earth. From
a mother at the age of one second,
to minutes, to hours, days and
years---reared mostly by a mother
and father and extended families.
The police likewise.
They differ: one wants to be a
career criminal, the other to en-
force the law of the land. I hope we
are together so far.
Who to solve crime? We the
people of T&T, by assisting those
who are paid to protect us and
who came from the same environ-
ment and born from a womb of a
mother, just like the criminal.
So get off the fence and into
the ring instead of looking behind
your burglar bars, pit bull and
firearm-in-hand. Stop being critical
of those who are trying and risking
their lives to save yours. All you
are doing is being critical of every
effort put forward.
The time is long overdue for all
of us to get together to fight
crime. The PNM has failed, the
NAR has failed, the UNC has failed
and the PP, despite the expendi-
ture of large sums of taxpayers'
money in the purchase of equip-
ment, is failing.
No government can do it alone.
It is time for all of us to approach
this problem with a united front.
The PP Government, the PNM
and the MSJ must get together
now and I am requesting that the
Prime Minister take the initiative
by again inviting the opposition to
discuss this urgent matter.
I support the offer of a reward
for information leading to the ap-
prehension and conviction of the
murderers responsible for the
death of our beloved Dana Seeta-
hal. However, one important ingre-
dient is missing to entice an
informant to come forward:
anonymity. The informant must
not be requested to give his name,
address and telephone number to
any policemen, or be required to
attend court as a witness.
The police require information
in the fight against crime but the
informant must be assured that
his/her identity remains a secret.
That is, if the informant wishes to
live to enjoy the reward.
ON THE ROAD TO 2015
---PP general election bid launches today
Stop criticising, do your part to stop crime
Anonymity required for giving information
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