By Yvonne Baboolal
April 20, 2013 – guardian.co.tt
Political scientists/analysts are divided on the issue of whether Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar should ask National Security Minister Jack Warner to step down based only on allegations in the media, especially in media which have lost credibility with the Government. Some said they did not expect the PM to ask Warner to step down based only on allegations in the media.
One felt Warner should resign, not because of allegations swirling around him, but because he was distressing the national psyche. The Opposition PNM has filed an April 26 motion in Parliament calling on the Prime Minister to deal with the allegations surrounding Warner, former Fifa vice-president.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, at a political meeting in Embacadere last Tuesday night, announced that the upcoming motion would deal specifically with the unanswered allegations surrounding Warner in his capacity as a person in public life and as a representative of the Government of T&T.
Former head of the public service Reginald Dumas
Reginald Dumas, former head of the public service, who worked closely with former prime minister Arthur NR Robinson, felt the PM should wait to make a decision on Warner until a Concacaf Integrity Committee reveals the findings of a forensic audit into Concacaf (supposed to have been yesterday).
Political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath
Political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath is not too hopeful Persad-Bissessar would ask Warner to step down based only on allegations reported in the local media which have lost credibility points with the Government. “Allegations are made all the time but there’s nothing to certify that Fifa is going to say Warner committed any wrongdoing. “My position is let there be something more concrete than allegations in the media and then we’ll work on him (Warner).”
Ragoonath said the onus is on Warner. “He keeps saying people are only talking and the Prime Minister cannot confirm the allegations. “I don’t see the Prime Minister asking Warner to step down unless she has evidence to corroborate what the media is saying.”
Political scientist Dr Indira Rampersad
Political scientist Dr Indira Rampersad said the evidence has to be really concrete for the PM to ask Warner to step down. “He is a valued member of the Government. He holds the very important portfolio of National Security Minister; he is chairman of the UNC and MP for Chaguanas West. “Warner wielded significant power and popularity nationwide and some level of popularity still exists even with the allegations.
“The question for the Prime Minister is whether she is going to go with the allegations and ask Warner to step down based only on that.”
Political analyst Dr Winford James
Tobago-based political analyst, Dr Winford James felt the PM should ask the President to revoke Warner’s appointment, tantamount to firing him, he said. “And the reasons are different from the normal ones.” More critical than the allegations surrounding Warner are the distress he’s causing the national psyche and the distractions from its duties he’s causing the Government, James said.