Archive for the 'UNC' Category

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Beware: nasty election campaigns ahead

By Raffique Shah
March 20, 2019

Raffique ShahIf you thought that Vernella Alleyne-Toppin had plumbed the depth of depravity when, in the run-up to the 2015 general election, the then Tobago East MP launched the most scurrilous, vulgar attack on People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, believe me, you haven’t seen the nastiest political campaigning yet.

Alleyne-Toppin had been allowed by House Speaker Wade Mark all the time she needed to allege that Rowley was a biological product of rape, and that he, in turn, would later end up committing the heinous crime to father a son. The alleged victims openly denied Toppin’s baseless charges, which were read into Hansard in the presence of her political leader, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and other People’s Partnership parliamentary colleagues, none of whom intervened to stop the nastiness.
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Kamla’s Position on Venezuela Ascended the High Moral Ground

By Stephen Kangal
March 09, 2019

Stephen KangalIn the face of rapidly unfolding political and diplomatic events globally and the current isolation of T&T for its ill-advised decision to recognize unwittingly and side with the internationally denounced illegal and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro bilaterally while pursuing a contradictory neutrality/ non-interference position at the multilateral Caricom and UN levels, it appears to me that Kamla outwitted Prime Minister Rowley in her strategic support for Interim President Juan Guaido.
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While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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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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