Archive for the 'People’s Partnership' Category

Judges split on petitions appeal

By Derek Achong
December 01, 2015 –

United National CongressThree of the country’s most senior judges have failed to come to an agreement over whether the United National Congress (UNC) has conclusive proof that its defeat in September’s general election was due to a one-hour extension in voting, in order to secure a re-election.

Delivering its judgment in the appeal brought by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and the People’ National Movement (PNM) at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, the appeal panel, led by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, was split two to one, as it ruled that the UNC had met the requirements required for preliminary approval of the petitions.
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The last ‘pahalwan’

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2015

Raffique ShahThe battle for leadership of the UNC has ignited a discussion on leadership in a broader context, with the party’s founder, Basdeo Panday, weighing in on the issue.

According to my columnist colleague Sheila Rampersad, Panday told her that Indians tend to seek a “pahalwan”-Hindi for warrior, strongman-to lead them. Sheila cited Panday himself as an example of the phenomenon. In 1973, he succeeded Bhadase Maharaj as leader of the sugar workers’ union, and in 1977 he succeeded in transforming the only organic inter-racial party ever (my view…I was a co-founder), the ULF, into an Indian party.
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Boors will be boors

By Raffique Shah
November 16, 2015

Raffique ShahI address two issues of public importance today. First is the emerging controversy over this country’s attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting to be held in Malta next week. And second, I join the chorus of frustrated voices crying out for something to be done to curb the dangerous, deafening din of explosives and fireworks that have become intrinsic to festivals like Divali.
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Scale of squandermania mind-boggling

By Raffique Shah
October 19, 2015

Raffique ShahIf a mere ten percent of the sums of money quoted by almost every new PNM minister as having gone to waste or astray under the previous government is factual, then at least a billion dollars was squandered or stolen during the tenure of the People’s Partnership.

If the ministers were accurate and truthful in their allegations of profligacy, then an astounding ten billion dollars, at least, found its way into the bank accounts of assorted thieves and accomplices.
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WASA now saddled with $1.6b deficit

October 14, 2015 –

WASAPublic Utilities Minister Ancil Antoine says the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is “burdened with massive debt and (is) financially strapped for funds.”

He said the state-owned utility company was currently operating with deficit is $1.6 billion and its receivables were $33.9 million.
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Up today, down tomorrow

By Raffique Shah
October 12, 2015

Raffique ShahI switched on my television last Friday just in time to see and hear a stern-looking House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George say to former minister and current MP for Caroni Central Bhoe Tewarie, “You have three seconds to wrap up…starting now!”

I did a double-take, wondering if I hadn’t mistakenly tuned in to the Western channel rather than Parliament, some wild-west movie in which the “fastest” gunman in town gives an impossible ultimatum to his adversary.
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UWI in Debe – 2 questions

October 08, 2015 –

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad Main Administration BuildingTHE RECENT debate of the rights and wrongs of a new UWI law campus being built in Debe revealed some of the complexities of the business of education and unleashed an unusually high level of public discourse.

I use the word “business” advisedly.

I could also add the word “politics”. I pose two questions arising from the hornet’s nest uncovered by former UWI principal and President of Trinidad and Tobago George Maxwell Richards in his speech at the recent opening of the 2015-16 Law Term. Firstly, what are universities for? Secondly, do we need more lawyers? I share Professor Richards’ view that a university’s “…contribution depends substantially on the activities of its academics and students to discuss, evaluate, criticise and investigate ideas and thus make available to the policymakers and the community possible options.” I would add that universities are where people learn to develop their thinking and knowledge to an advanced level that will serve in the advancement of the human race in all its aspects.
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AG served with election petition at Mahabir’s funeral

By Vashtee Achibar
September 27, 2015 –

PNM vs UNCAttorney General Faris Al- Rawi, also the sitting Member of Parliament for the San Fernando West seat, was on Friday served with an election petition at the funeral service for former People’s National Movement (PNM) government minister Errol Mahabir.

The funeral service took place at the St Paul’s Anglican Church on Harris Promenade, San Fernando and was attended by hundreds of mourners including Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, former Prime Ministers Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday, a line up of government ministers and senators as well as members of Parliament from both sides of the House and a list of other prominent persons in society.
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Projections, not predictions

By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2015

Raffique ShahMy last two columns, one titled “Rowley rising” and the other “lament for a falling leader”, were seen by many of my readers as being almost prophetic in the wake of last Monday’s election results.

Had I made public another document in which I analysed the results in all 41 constituencies from 2007 onwards, using historical data and trends, and projecting the 2015 results (which I circulated only to close friends), I might have been accused of being an “obeahman” or “seer”.
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Rowley rises

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2015

Raffique ShahIf I had to identify a singular, dominant development from the tiresome, months-long election campaign, it would be the emergence of Keith Rowley as an orator and a leader of distinction.

Here is a man who started off the marathon campaign with all the negatives which any prime ministerial aspirant could be burdened with, but he overcame them with aplomb.
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