Since 1956, we have come to naively conclude that the PNM was the main political party in the country and all the rest were just that: all the rest. We have been indoctrinated into thinking that the PNM has been the major political force in this country when in fact back in 1956 it entered the arena where there were already other dominant parties led by Bhadase, Albert Gomes, Butler and some others thus making the PNM back then not just the third party but in that configuration, it was more like number 7 in the race.
It was only via the diabolic interference of the British colonial office that the PNM won that election. To prove that this had some truth in it, the next election, the Federal election of 1958, Bhadase went on to defeat Williams proving that the PNM was not the major party in the country.
Peeved and outraged at this defeat, Williams outburst was that the Indians were a hostile and recalcitrant minority but even though he lacked the math genius of Rudranath Capildeo, he still knew two and two made four and in order to make his PNM balisier people a majority, he embarked on a mission to import from the small islands a voting bank of Afro-West Indians coupled with his importation of the voting machine to ensure a victory in the 1962 election which seemed likely to go to the eminent Capildeo of the DLP.
In short, Williams technically stole the 1962 election thus setting a precedent of PNM dishonesty in elections – to win at any cost.
Anyway, moving on to this local election: Renuka Sagramsingh could scream and bray as vociferously as she could, this fight is almost imperceptibly one between PEP the UNC and the NTA, one between Gary Griffith, Phillip Alexander and Kamla; and because Rowley on his own has reduced the PNM to what it was in 1986 to what it was in the THA elections of 2022, it is now the cornered animal kicking and screaming, breathing its last breath.
But the baton has passed and the PNM is now an extinct organisation ashamed to lie down and die. Analysts might be tempted to base their calculation on the math that a split vote between PEP and the others might benefit the PNM, but PNM diehard base which informed that analysis is no longer a factor. It is now a myth. The diehards are dead and buried – not only from old age, but the inexorability of change and the self-destructiveness of Rowley, have made it so.
And so over to Gary and Phillip who dare to take on Goliath who is now without muscles and fighting on his name alone which has been erased by their melanin white-out.
L. Siddhartha Orie