Tension, picong… Jack is Chief Whip

New UNC Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
New UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
All eyes were on the new UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, former UNC leader Basdeo Panday and the new Chairman of the UNC Jack Warner. Panday, who arrived a few minutes late, offered Kamla his chair before eventually taking his seat in parliament. Panday’s loyalists diagreed with Persad-Bissessar’s appointment of Jack Warner as the UNC Chief Whip, claiming Mr. Warner is too inexperienced. Basdeo Panday remains UNC’s Opposition Leader as no motion has been made to replace him.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Colm Imbert
Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Colm Imbert

Opposition members Harry Partap and Winston 'Gypsy' Peters
Opposition members Harry Partap and Winston 'Gypsy' Peters
New UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
New UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Panday offered Kamla his chair before taking his seat
Panday offered Kamla his chair before taking his seat
Panday: Kamla ‘hurry’ for my seat
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday said yesterday he offered his seat in the Parliament to UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, because she seems to be in a rush to occupy his chair. Yesterday at the Parliament sitting, Panday, who arrived a few minutes late, went straight to his chair, which is the second seat from the top of the Opposition benches. However, before taking his seat, he called Persad-Bissessar’s attention and offered his seat to her. She seemed a bit surprised by his gesture but did not comply.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Colm Imbert
PM Patrick Manning and Colm Imbert tease Basdeo Panday

Chief Whip Jack Warner and Basdeo Panday
Chief Whip Jack Warner and Basdeo Panday
Kamla under the watchful eyes of Panday’s loyalists
Kamla under the watchful eyes of Panday’s loyalists
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, defeated in the UNC leadership election, takes his seat next to Winston Peters
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, defeated in the UNC leadership election, takes his seat next to Winston Peters
Jack Warner, Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Jack Warner, Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar

9 thoughts on “Tension, picong… Jack is Chief Whip”

  1. Jack is Chief Whip
    UNC POLITICAL Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday showed her mettle by overruling Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday’s attempt to install a Chief Whip and appointing UNC chairman Jack Warner to serve in the post instead.

    Kamla whips MPs…with Jack

    Kamla advises Sinanan: Appoint UNC chairman Chief Whip
    UNC Chairman Jack Warner’s political star became even more ascendant yesterday, when he assumed the position of Opposition Chief Whip. In a further indication that power has continued to slip away from Basdeo Panday, the appointment came following a letter from the new Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to House Speaker Barry Sinanan yesterday morning.

    Cracking the UNC Whip
    Luckily for PNM House leader Colm Imbert the rules of the House of Representatives do not allow MPs to eat in the Parliament chamber during proceedings. And Imbert may also be thankful that UNC MP Jack Warner got a new job as UNC chief whip yesterday. If not, Imbert may have been forced by UNC MPs to eat his words when Imbert—during last month’s property tax debate—had told UNC’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar that her colleague Basdeo Panday would give her a “licking” in the UNC’s January 24 election. It is now history that Imbert’s “prediction” was wrong. But yesterday’s drama in the House when Persad-Bissessar got cracking—appointing Warner as chief whip—distracted sufficiently from Imbert enough to save him from any eating (of words or otherwise). The many ironies of the historic January 24 routing saw Panday outfoxed by (some of) his own, but intent on battling (still) in his remaining two years as Couva North MP.

    Chief Whip: We shall not disappoint
    NEW Opposition Chief Whip Jack Warner last night assured Prime Minister Patrick Manning and the population the new United National Congress (UNC) led by Siparia MP Kamla Persad- Bissessar will always act in the best interests of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Blame prison network for killings
    Jack makes first contribution as UNC chief whip:

    Opposition MP Jack Warner, in his first contribution to a debate in Parliament since he was appointed as Chief Whip yesterday, alleged a criminal network within and outside of the nation’s prisons is responsible for the nation’s high homicide rate.

    Panday: Kamla ‘hurry’ for my seat
    Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday said yesterday he offered his seat in the Parliament to UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, because she seems to be in a rush to occupy his chair.

    Manning praises Kamla, Jack, Bas

    PM offers congrats to opposite side

    UNC groups back Kamla
    Even as Kamla Persad-Bissessar entered Parliament yesterday for the first time as political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) chairpersons of constituency party groups continue to be pressed by their membership to endorse her as Opposition Leader.

    Dookeran: ‘Don’t run Bas out of UNC’
    Basdeo Panday should not be hounded out of the post of opposition leader but be eased out gradually and in a dignified manner.

    Historian: Let Panday go with dignity
    Historian Brinsley Samaroo believes Basdeo Panday is being hounded out of the office of Opposition Leader and advises those doing so to treat him with dignity in light of the tremendous contribution he has made to the country.

  2. I think both men have made sensible statements ,seeing that Mr Panday has made great contributions to the nation. Mr Panday should treated with RESPECT.

  3. Panday, more than anything else, has contributed to the corrupt nature of our politics. He is one of the most disrespectful politicians we have ever had and as such does not deserve our sympathy.

    Brinsley Samaroo and Winston Dookeran spoke of treating Panday with dignity and it appears that some others are parroting these sentiments without showing how those who are calling for him to step down have been treating him ignominiously.

    Where is the disrespect in calling on Panday to allow Kamla to be Opposition Leader so that the party can quickly begin the process of transformation in time for an election? The attempts to remove Panday as Opposition Leader has to be seen in this light. Incidentally, I am not a UNC member but I do understand the urgency of those who want to see the party prepare itself for a snap election.

    It is Basdeo Panday who has always disrespected his opponents and he was particularly nasty when speaking about Kamla and Jack Warner during the UNC’s internal party elections. Why did those who are sympathetic to Panday not call on him to be civil and respectful all along. He has a long history of nastiness.

    No one should sympathize with Basdeo Panday. He has contributed to holding back the development of the politics in this country. He got an opportunity and became Prime Minister and during his reign he was mean-spirited, callous and oversaw a government riddled with corruption, which, according to what came out in court, he woefully participated in.

    Some of Panday’s sympathizers are happy to have Jack Warner’s money to revive the UNC and give them another chance at becoming the government but it appears some are pained to see him accomplish what many before him have failed to do – defeat Basdeo Panday. Jack Warner, with all his shortcomings, has caused the UNC to become more attractive to a wider cross-section of people and thus give it a chance at attempting to unite this nation. Panday is stubborn and would resist change, and if necessary power should be wrestled from him at the behest of the supporters and other well-wishers of the party.

  4. Again yet another example of the contempt that Basdeo Panday has for the people he is meant to represent.
    Fact he lost the internal election, what sentimental rubbish it is said he must be eased out slowly!
    Is Ms.Bissessar not aware of her constitutional right?

    From what has transpired during the past five days. The UNC is now a failed political party with members who need to reassess their personal philosophy in order to understand the reality of what it is to sit as Members of Parliament.

    This is said as should a natural disaster occur in Trinidad and Tobago is the present administration capable of protecting its people and meeting their Health and Social needs?
    The Haitian PM was absent for such a long period, Patrick Manning and his crew may fly out and instruct the US to take control as they lack the knowledge to deal with such matters.

    So when you see your so call leaders just remember Haiti. With all their education, fancy words and Tax Payers Money they are just figure heads as Basdeo Pandy has so eloquently demonstrated.

  5. Mr. Panday’s reactions to UNC’s internal election is the classic example of one who is addicted to POWER. He has the capability to channel all that negative energy into a constructive and positive energy to continue serving the NATION. He has again “demon-strated”, he “self” comes before ALL else. The baser part of his personality has continue materialise and cause destruction rather than peace & re-building. Mr. Bas you are capable of mentoring other politicians besides Mickeala. You want to keep power for your type only, Ramesh the other “DEMON” is your partner in the darkness of your existence. Listen to your heart and the answer will come. If you believe your next life will be better, you have a lot of work ahead of you, so start now to build that good Kharma…ask your GURU and carry Ramesh by a Obeahman to exorcise the DEMON living in him. All your CRONIES still following you need to go to the ocean and bathe with lemon. Yes Mr. Bas that’s all takes to come to the positive side of CREATION and serve MANKIND.

  6. Guardian’s Editorial: Kamla’s challenge
    It’s entirely likely that if the new UNC political leader were male, the deft moves made during the last few days in that party would have been hailed as decisive expressions of leadership and a commitment to positive change. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the duly and overwhelmingly-elected political leader of that party, is now, instead, being accused of “hounding” Basdeo Panday out of the office of the Opposition Leader and of being “discourteous,” “high-handed” and “almost vindictive‚” in appointing newly-elected UNC chairman Jack Warner to the post of Opposition Chief Whip. These characterisations are, regrettably, likely to be only the start of the kind of male-dominated re-evaluation of the woman who overturned the reality of the Opposition party’s politics. In winning the election by a landslide, drawing almost ten times as many votes as the incumbent, and drawing along with her into office her entire slate of candidates, Persad-Bissessar clearly tapped into the discontent within the party’s rank and file and the state of the Opposition party’s business as it was constituted.

  7. Panday has indicated on many occassions that he would go so long as the people no longer eants him as their political leader, he has said that politics is not only about election, being an MP, he has said that politics includes a fight outside of electoral politics. So when I hear people talk about treating him with dignity I must ask why, because to not point out to him that the people have spoken would be dishonest in the least, maybe he did not get the memo. Panday needs to go, he needs to understand that the democratic party he has built have spoken, and loudly at that, maybe they have spoken so loudly that the poor bengal tiger has gone deaf.

  8. Sinanan: I’m open to MPs’ objections
    HOUSE SPEAKER Barry Sinanan yesterday said he is open to hearing objections from UNC MPs over the appointment of UNC chairman Jack Warner as Chief Whip. “I will listen to what they have to say. I’m always willing to learn new things,” Sinanan said amidst reports that some Opposition MPs are of the view that his acceptance of Warner as whip, was wrong in law.

    The new UNC agenda

    By William Lucie-Smith

    Many correspondents have been giving Ms Persad-Bissessar gratuitous advice including the need to reconcile with the Panday faction and that the COP is now irrelevant. This is poor advice indeed. Mr Panday has been roundly rejected by his own party members and needs to be politely ignored.

    Many have joined the bandwagon of praising his long service and contribution to national service. I disagree and believe that he will be remembered as a mountebank populist demagogue of dubious integrity, who contributed little to Trinidad and Tobago. The poor grace with which he took this defeat was on a par with his disgraceful concession speech at the last general election.

    Kamla need not worry about the support of the parliamentary party or the Panday faction, because they are now irrelevant and have nowhere to go. Any sensible UNC parliamentarian should respect the democratic vote and now pledge his full support to her and quickly. Those who fail to do so are saying, in effect, that they wish to join Basdeo Panday on the back benches and do not wish to be endorsed as a candidate in any future election. It may take a few days for the penny to drop but they should certainly want to be one of the first eight UNC MPs to declare loyalty to the new democratically elected leader.
    Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

  9. Now folks I am getting a bit concern about Madame Kamela our ‘Opposition leader elect.’ as she is on the verge of assuming her new exalted position as our local change agent ,equivalent to Uncle Obama in big brother America. A mishap , and a misstep took place simultaneously all in the space of one week, and as the ‘unpaid political adviser’ to her, and other likely progressives wallowing in the political wilderness across our nation,I am not amused one bit.
    Answer me if you can folks , but how can the usually sprightly , sure foot lady fall in the House of Parliament, soon after drinking a cup of imported Sri Lankan, or is it Beijing tea , and coincidentally around the same moment that the Diego Rot wilder ,cousin Rowley raise his head like a Beetam dirty Mang-water, hairy crab, and vote with the UNC in support of some inconsequential WASA bill that is not guaranteed to bring a drop of water for a poor scrunting , expendable ,Lavantille or Barackpore voting resident ?
    On a matter of national security , I observed that she decided to jump on the Goopising orchestrated ,Caroni land owners , anti rail road bandwagon.

    Let me guess the catch phrase slogan that our local anti genocidal hero Mr. Goopising would trot out to garner a bit of cheap press this time.’ ‘Food before transportation and traffic jams. Why stop there at obstructionist injunctions Auntie Kamela?
    Perhaps you should make a recommendation that in the face of encroaching negative modernization,they should extract all their millions in savings from our major banks ,and investment houses , and place them under their respective beds as many of the early distrustful ancestors used to do, yes? This might not be too bad an idea , especially if financial guru Jack Warner is allowed to manage it , as he was know in the past to inveigle extremely high percentage returns, even for miniscule investments – often at the expense of gullible sports loving Trinis .
    I wonder when was the last time any of these new age politicos caught a taxi or drove a car to and from Central, or South to POS during rush hour?
    So this is the anti- gridlock, and change we can anticipate from you down the road o wise one , correct? Heavens forbid!

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