Category Archives: Elections

Why I Support UNC This Time Around

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 04, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1955 when I was growing up in Tacarigua Michael Kangalee, who lived in El Dorado, a nearby village, was one of my best friends. We attended Tacarigua A. C. School and were members of the St. Mary’s Anglican Church. As soon as the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) came into being we were forced to take sides. I supported the PNM and Michael supported the DLP.
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Making of a megalomaniac

By Raffique Shah
August 03, 2020

Raffique ShahEight days from today, Kamla Persad-Bissessar expects to be named Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago after she leads the United National Congress to victory in the general election, Hers is a legitimate expectation, and she has as good a chance as Dr Keith Rowley, the incumbent office-holder and leader of the People’s National Movement. In fact, she could make history being the only female to win a second term as Prime Minister, to add to her already impressive career as a politician.
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New prospects for small parties

By Raffique Shah
July 27, 2020

Raffique ShahIt would be remiss of me if, having chosen to comment on the 2020 general election, I ignored the many small parties and independent candidates that have entered the race. The Elections and Boundaries Commission said 150 candidates from 19 parties are set to do battle in 41 constituencies on August 10. Between the PNM and the UNC, they have fielded 80 candidates (41 and 39 respectively), while the new Progressive Empowerment Party has 28 candidates. This means that the other 16 parties and independents will have 42 starters when the polls open.
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Making a Truce with Reality

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 21, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI have been following the “the polytricks” taking place in Guyana, a land that “has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters” as Sir Hilary Beckles described it (Express, July 13.) It’s not an overreach to say we are witnessing a replay of a traumatic encounter that took place years ago.

In 1970 Forbes Burnham declared Guyana a Co-operative Republic. I visited Guyana in 1972, the year in which the first Carifesta and the Non-Aligned Nations’ conference took place under the aegis of Comrade-Leader Burnham. It was a new and exciting time.
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The Last of the Romantics

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 13, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI met Sophia Chote once but was enchanted her intellectual sophistication and emotional maturity of her columns. Her writing reminded me of the qualities that one found in the thinkers of the romantic movement of the nineteenth century: a belief in democracy and republicanism; an appreciation for the sublime and transcendence; and most of all, a belief in the power of imagination.
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Much ado about nothing

By Raffique Shah
July 13, 2020

Raffique ShahI don’t know why Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar thought it necessary to appeal to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to invite a team of observers from The British Commonwealth and/or CARICOM to witness the conduct of the general election that will take place on August 10. All elections in the history of independent Trinidad and Tobago have been conducted by the Elections and Boundaries Commission, a creature of the Constitution, and there was hardly an occasion on which there were allegations of irregularities. Indeed, not only is the EBC seen to be fair and fiercely independent, but it hardly ever erred in an election, and even when it did, its actions were not deemed partisan or corrupt.
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Rowley’s date with destiny

By Raffique Shah
July 06, 2020

Raffique ShahIt is perhaps a measure of poetic justice that a People’s National Movement government is facing a rebellion by elements in the party’s core constituencies in the capital city of Port of Spain and its environs, that on the eve of an important general election when the party needs its members more than they need the party. But such are the vicissitudes of politics that test the mettle of leaders.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and National Security Minister Stuart Young have said that intelligence reports suggest that politicians outside of the PNM are fomenting the unrest. I do not doubt that. Politics is a nasty game that is governed by no rules or ethics, in which the end—power and control of the State coffers—justifies the means. Even so, the fact that competing parties can infiltrate your bastion and use your own people against you must be cause for concern.
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Election an illusion of power

By Raffique Shah
July 01, 2020

Raffique ShahIt’s difficult to get a good grasp of what’s happening on the ground regarding the general election, which will be held in the next three months. It seems that Covid-19, the virus that has impacted the world like nothing else in history, and fundamentally changed the way we live to the extent that we have coined virtually a new lexicon to comprehend its effects, said virus has relegated the election to a side-show, almost a non-event.
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Be Careful How You Treat Black People

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2020

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man, without finding the other end of it about his own neck.”

—Frederick Douglass

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFor the past three weeks, the world’s attention has been transfixed by the racial tensions that engulfed the United States. We, in T&T may have been spared “the most vulgar displays of systemic racism” as the prime minister said but, as the old people say: “What miss yo’ ent pass yo.”

The massive resistance against the racism that engulfed the US has to do with how white people and their government treat black people on a day-to-day basis. In T&T I am not sure that our government and those in power are treating its black citizens as they should. An immediate example is how PNM’s Screening Committee treated (and is treating) Robert Le Hunte because he took “a principled stance” on an important issue.
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Granger Bent On Using Caricom Team to “Robber- Stamp” His Coup

By Stephen Kangal
March 17, 2020

Stephen KangalIt is very clear that incumbent Guyanese President David Granger’s current agenda is to use the third- appointed Caricom Observer but low level Team to rubber-stamp and add some “legitimacy” to his virtual “coup” attempt of the Guyana Elections 2020.

One must appreciate that this intervention Team was hurriedly constituted by current Caricom Chairman, Mia Mottley after all the accredited Observer Missions that witnessed the conduct of the March 2 elections as well as the three recounts of the Region Four poll, unanimously criticised that ‘process’ used by Returning Officer (RO) Vraimont Mingo as being illegal and lacking in both credibility and transparency.
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