Archive for the 'UNC' Category

Periscope on upcoming national elections

By Raffique Shah
February 12, 2019

Raffique ShahEven as the crisis in neighbouring Venezuela remains volatile, with the threat of civil war looming large just beyond our horizon, politicians in Trinidad and Tobago are pressing ahead with preparations for their own political wars—local government elections due to be held later this year and a general election before the end of next year.

Elections in Trinidad and Tobago are driven by one core issue: when the People’s National Movement holds power, as it does now, how to remove it from office. Or when it’s out in the wilderness of opposition, how to keep it there. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Using Parliamentary Time to Humiliate the USA

By Stephen Kangal
February 11, 2019

Stephen KangalI am getting the impression that although we are mere seven miles from Venezuela, have potential energy interests there to safeguard and cultivate we also have even more compelling economic, technical co-operation and diasporic interests within the USA that is in fact our largest trading partner and source of actual and promising huge investment prospects.

Why is T&T giving undue precedence to propping up illegitimate and dictatorial Maduro and humiliating the USA in our current foreign policy posturing?
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Society steeped in corruption

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime in 2017, I wrote a column in which I counselled Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refrain from hurling allegations of corruption against ministers and senior officials of the People’s Partnership Government unless or until such time as some them have been charged with serious corruption-related criminal offences.

By then, I had reasoned, most citizens had grown fed up with such allegations being made by parties in power and those in opposition, with no proof produced as they exchanged places every five years from 1986 when the People’s National Movement was first voted out of office after a 30-year grip on power. The average person knew or believed there was rampant corruption involving PNM ministers, and the overwhelming vote they gave the National Alliance for Reconstruction was fuelled by expectations that they would finally see “big sawatees” hauled before the courts in handcuffs, with many of the crooks ending up behind bars like the common criminals they were.
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Media trapped by trivia

By Raffique Shah
December 19, 2018

Raffique ShahFor a country that is beset by myriad fundamental problems—real, imagined or contrived—it is amazing how easily the entire nation can be distracted by trivia.

Almost as side issues in the media, two senior politicians square off over what percentage of employed persons earn less than $6,000 per month, the benchmark for bare survival; hardly mentioned are the 10,000 or so workers who have been thrown on the breadline for the year. The national debt rises higher than Mt Cerro del Aripo; the murder toll crosses 500; and potholes on our roads exceed properly-paved driving surfaces, are all relegated to lower-ranked media attention.
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Bring on an anti-corruption court

By Raffique Shah
November 07, 2018

Raffique ShahUntil scores of corrupt politicians, public officials and thieving contractors in this country are jailed for pillaging the public purse, and are seen wearing “prison blues” so that the population is convinced that justice is evenly dispensed, the lawlessness that runs rife in the society will ravage its body politic like an invasive cancer.

It will inevitably permeate the few decent souls remaining, like the persons whose compassion for their less fortunate brethren during the recent floods kindled hope in our hearts that there is still some humanity left in this jungle of feral greed.
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HDC projects hit by approval woes, defects Mistakes cost $2.4 billion

By Renuka Singh
November 05, 2018 – guardian.co.tt

Greenvale ParkConstruction variations or changes to the agreed scope of works at Housing Development Corporation (HDC) projects cost taxpayers some $2.4 billion between 2005 and 2017. These include two projects that had to be abandoned because of structural and engineering obstacles that were not determined before construction began.

The news comes even as the ruling People’s National Movement and Opposition United National Congress continue to spar over which party made the errors while in government which led to the recent flooding disaster at the Greenvale Park, La Horquetta development.
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PNM: Kamla must apologise

By Corey Connelly
September 16, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Keith RowleyUnited National Congress (UNC) political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is likely to pay a hefty political price is she does not apologise to the nation for labelling Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley an Oreo biscuit, outgoing People’s National Movement (PNM) chairman Franklin Khan stated yesterday.
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Open Yo’ Eyes & Ears, PNM…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 30, 2018

“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” — Jeremiah 5:21

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAny party that has any pretensions to be relevant to its people needs to take time out to listen to what they are saying. The recent by-election came and went. The United National Congress won a seat—it increased its margin of victory-and the People’s National Movement (PNM) lost a seat—its margin of victory decreased. One would think the ruling party would examine why it didn’t do as well as it wanted to.
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 8

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 24, 2018

PART 8

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen a government cannot even buy a boat to convey its citizens from point A to point B; select a commissioner of police as its murder rate soars; or be up front enough to tell its citizens the cost of building a hotel it says is in their best interest, then that government has lost its raison d’etre to lead.

Any party that says it represents the interest of a particular group but which, after sixty-two years in existence, that group is relatively worse off than before, then that party needs to question its performance? That party may even need to reinvent itself to accommodate the wishes of that group.
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Petrotrin: all of them must go!

By Raffique Shah
July 18, 2018

Raffique ShahBecause of the interest generated by my column last week on State-owned Petrotrin and the fact that the country has awakened to a possible disaster at our doorstep in the fate of the struggling oil giant, I thought I should return to add a few more salient points to the national discussion that will likely determine its future.

I claim no expertise in the oil industry, and certainly not on Petrotrin. However, I have, over the years, tried to educate myself on the hydrocarbons and petrochemicals industries in order to better understand these engines of our economy. Besides accessing information that is available in print and online, I have interfaced with many workers, technocrats and experts to whom I am grateful for sharing their vast knowledge with me.
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