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Itís our fault

January 13, 2002
By Raffique Shah

THE political dilemma that we find ourselves in today has nothing to do with newly appointed Prime Minister Patrick Manning. In fact, even ex-Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, for all his faults, is not to blame. Nor, for that matter, must President Arthur Robinson be seen as the root cause of the crisis because he exercised his judgement (in naming a PM) in a manner that most political analysts deemed unconstitutional. The main problem, if we must be brutally frank, is that we, as a people, have failed to come to grips with nationhood, to free our minds from the bondage of colonialism, to exercise our rights as the real repository of power.

Manning has been criticised for certain ministerial appointments he made, for the size of his Cabinet, for naming his wife, Hazel, as a minister, and for "playing Prime Minister" in a situation where he has no clear mandate, what with the 18-18 elections' results. Panday faced similar criticisms during his tenure of office for bringing into his Cabinet persons whose interests, or conflict of interests, made them wholly unsuitable for ministerial positions. And now Robinson is being flayed from all sides for allegedly breaching the Constitution by naming as PM someone who does not appear to "command the support of the majority of members of the House (of Representatives)".

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Itís our fault
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