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Manning Outsmarted

25 Jun

Well that is the only conclusion that one could come to. Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the new Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, despite all of the talk about not wanting a coalition government. It is the plight of every successful politician to read his hand badly, but maybe just like Gordon Brown his loss was inevitable. Even from Manning’s own supporters we had heard “too little too late”. Mrs. Bissessar’s win has raised discussions about women in politics and whether Barbados is ready for a female Prime Minister. This is perhaps the same question being raised by Jamaica. But was it so much about her gender as a about someone who the electorate felt embodied the qualities of a new leader? Given the political landscape at the moment Barbadians are becoming more comfortable with female candidates. They will be just as comfortable with a female Prime Minister when the time comes! Congratulations to Mrs. Bissessar.


Manning removes MPs

19 Apr

Some people are asking what Patrick Manning has against Penny Beckles, the incumbent from Arima. He offered her a diplomatic posting in order to withdraw from the race in the upcoming election. She refused and the PNM is not running her. But this is not the first time that Manning had asked this particular candidate to stand down. Also this is not the first time that Manning has removed incumbents. He did this in the run up to the last election and arguably he was successful. Can he do it again?

Apparently one of Ms. Beckles’ sins is that she made positive comments about Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s elevation to Leader of the Opposition. The two are women, colleagues as lawyers and are contemporaries. How could Ms. Beckles’ have said anything else.

These are the issues that parties try to sort out in time for elections without too much fall out. In Barbados it would be difficult for anyone to try to remove an incumbent, unless there is pretty much a consensus that the individual has lost the support of the members of the Constituency.

In Barbados it will be interesting to see how the alleged gun incident involving Dale Marshall and David Estwick plays out. Is it possible that Dr. Estwick might be asked not to run in the next election?

New Party in TT Elections

18 Apr

Election Day is Monday, May 24, 2010, in Trinidad and Tobago. Nomination Day is Monday, May 3. (See Barbados Today, Saturday, April 17, 2010).

It has become clearer that the United National Congress (UNC) and the Congress of the People (COP) are finalizing an election accord of theirs in time for this general election.

We have also got word that Mr. Yasin Abu Bakr and the Jamaat Al-Muslimeen group of Trinidad and Tobago are forming a party to contest this election.

Well, so, let the campaign begin.