Political Accommodation and UNC Leadership Race

Basdeo Panday, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj
Basdeo Panday, Kamla Persad-Bissessar & Ramesh Maharaj

By Stephen Kangal
January 18, 2010

It appears to me that the most critically dominant and indeed the determining factor that will influence the outcome of the UNC’s January 24 internal elections would appear to and should be:

which one of the three candidates vying for the UNC leadership presents the brightest and most convincing prospects for forging sustainable and credible unity/accommodation with the COP at the next general elections?

This conclusion can be derived from the appeals for unity hitherto consistently expressed by the membership of both parties. Accordingly the sincerity of this concern for forging unity with the COP will be tested against the known predilection of the UNC base to opt for charismatic guru-ship however discredited and politically damaged the incumbent may be on his own admission. But there are contradictions in organizational behaviour of the UNC heartland.

Hitherto Ramesh Maharaj has unequivocally stated that the UNC base is not going to be absorbed into any coalition arrangements under his tenure; guru-ship will be permitted to continue his uninterrupted rein as Leader of the Opposition. That position has built in the seeds of the former’s demise and is a prescription for “kuchoor” and 2001 re-visited. That position is also untenable and he is merely pandering to the pro-Panday support base.

On the other hand the “maha guru” has totally lost any credibility in his ability to negotiate any sustainable inter/intra party unity and /or accommodation because the people do not and will not trust him to keep the political peace and stability for any reasonable period of time. He thrives on orchestrating adversarial and confrontational relations in which the chelas are forced at sporadic and strategic intervals to make unnecessary choices and renew their marriage of convenience vows to him. He extracts every ounce of adulation in return for the elusive political darshaan with which he seduces and casts a spell over them.

Finally it therefore appears to me that Kamla PB has the most outstanding credentials and adaptability to bring about the united front that is so essential to effecting regime change and political melt-down in T&T.

Accordingly reason would suggest that since she can negotiate and deliver the unity with the COP that the UNC base says it craves for en masse and at the same time effect the removal of the PNM from governance she represents the maximum benefit- minimum cost option for the UNC membership base to consider on 24 January.

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