I noted with trepidation, another group of people getting together to unseat the PNM and form the next government of Trinidad & Tobago. One daily newspaper reported that 89 year old John Humphrey and former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday will be advising on the formation of a coalition which according to Humphrey, this time will be different. So far according to my recollection, there seems to be Watson Duke’s PDP party, Gary Griffith’s NTA party, Phillip Alexander’s PEP party, Herbert Volney’s Justice & Freedom Party and one can imagine the Humphrey coalition would very likely be led by Makela Panday. Then of course there would be the UNC. Every one of these leaders and their party not only hope to form the next government but if you speak to them personally, they are confident that they will.
Replacing the Dr Keith Rowley led PNM is no easy task. To the objective observer, the PNM government can be said to have managed the Covid 19 pandemic well. So well, that at the time of writing this article there are thousands of vaccines available to the public that will most likely be expired in the coming weeks because citizens with access to vaccines are not interested in boosters and further vaccination.
Then there is the leadership of Dr Rowley versus those seeking to unseat him. This is a person who in 2012 managed the changes in his party to allow for a one man one vote system, unafraid to trust the PNM’s membership and was victorious as political leader. There were no allegations of voter padding or vote rigging during their election. As Prime Minister in 2016, he personally accepted the responsibility for the management of the restructuring of the Red House, The President’s House, White Hall, Stollmeyer’s Castle and Mille Fleurs.
These heritage sites that houses the offices of Parliament and the highest offices of Trinidad & Tobago were left to fall apart by previous administrations. This single achievement is worthy of tremendous commendation. Dr Rowley was gracious in defeat at the Tobago House of Assembly election and continues with his party’s agenda seeking what the PNM thinks is best for the people of Trinidad & Tobago.
Those seeking to replace Dr Rowley and the PNM government must be a better option. The leader must be articulate, honest, visionary, a uniting force and a person of integrity. The party must be well structured with uncompromising commitment to democracy. No self-imposed leader without the legitimacy of being elected by the people will replace a well-structured disciplined PNM party.
There is a very likely possibility that the PNM may lose the next local and general elections, but for that to become a reality, the many seeking political office by forming parties and declaring themselves leaders will have to come together and trust the electorate to choose from among the potential leaders the person who must lead them to victory. That requires patriotism over narcissism.
God Bless Our Nation
Giving a Voice to the People.