RAMBHARAT EYEING CHAGUANAS EAST SEAT FOR 2020 GENERAL ELECTION
PNM Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat is said to be eying the Chaguanas East seat in the 2020 General Election.
He dropped a hint when he appeared on a PNM platform last week `at a public meeting in Chaguanas when he revealed that he has moved out of Mayaro and has now set up shop in Chaguanas East.
Rambharat was the PNM candidate for Mayaro in the 2015 General Election and was defeated by UNC candidate Rushton Parray.
Rambharat told the PNM supporters that he is the caretaker for the constituency.
Fazal Karim is the UNC MP for the Chaguanas East constituency having defeated Jack Warner who contested the seat under an ILP banner in the 2015 General Election.
People are saying that since Rambharath was not satisfied for the defeat he got in Mayaro, he will get another one in Chaguanas East.
He announced at the meeting that squatters who did not fall under the Land Settlement Agency would also be regularized. This some see as another election ploy for votes.
BOGUS $1.6 BILLION IN LEGAL FEES!
People are saying that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must watch his contents when speaking about the corruption cases against former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and former UNC Senator Gerald Ramdeen.
Rowley has started to ramajay on the political platform about the corruption cases against the two UNC attorneys which cases are now before the court.
This, some say, can amount to pre-trial publicity which can probably sway the jury pool.
Many persons in legal circles are saying that both Rowley and AG Faris–al-Rawi have been engaged in propaganda, giving bogus figures which Anand Ramlogan SC spent while he was former AG under the PP government during the period 2010-2015
There is talk among certain attorneys that the AG office spent just over $500 million between 2010 and 2015 and not $1.6 billion because a few weeks ago AG Faris Al-Rawi gave a breakdown to Parliament of the legal fees paid to attorneys by Ramlogan they amounted to just over $500 million some time ago.
People are saying that both Rowley and Al-Rawi exaggerated about the $1.4 billion paid to a number of attorneys which figure rose to $1.6 billion when they were addressing PNM supporters at a public the meeting in Chaguanas last Tuesday.
Now that the $1.6 billion legal fees have raised questions, the AG is now explaining that up to September 2015 the AG’s Ministry had spent $444 million, being a subtotal of approximately $1.4 billion in a “whole of-Government” expenditure.
He explained to the Parliament Standing Finance Committee last week that the $1.4 billion was spent by the government up to September 2015 across all ministries and statutory authorities.
At the PNM public meeting in the Chaguanas East constituency the Prime Minister claimed that if Ramlogan did not spend $1.6 billion in legal fees, the money could have been spent on medication for the hospitals which cost $600 million a year. How this pre-trial publicity will affect the outcome of Ramlogan’s and Ramdeen’s trials only time will tell.
ROAD-PATCHING STARTS – NOT PAVING!
Motorists have observed that the Ministry of Works & Transport has started a road-patching exercise in some parts of the country instead of paving.
They want to know if it is part of the TT$1.4 billion that the Development Bank of Latin America approved for Trinidad and Tobago’s road network, since the poor conditions of some of the roads are being by-passed.
The Ministry of Works & Transport is patching the small potholes and not attending to the areas with really bad roads.
For example, the road from Sangre Grande to the Manzanilla beach has a number of holes at the side of the road which were “patched up” but the patching stopped where the road is deteriorating and this would soon become impassable to light vehicles.
People are saying that when road paving starts in the country that is a sign that election is around the corner.
KAMLA MAY HAVE TO FORM ANOTHER COALITION FOR THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION
People are saying that UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar will have to come with a clean slate for the 2020 General Election or form another coalition to defeat the PNM in light of her two top UNC attorneys now being charged with corruption.
Although Persad-Bissessar has been saying that the UNC will stand alone in the next election, she will have to think again.
Some observers are saying that the Anand Ramlogan and Gerald Ramdeen corruption charges may not have an impact on the UNC’s base, but the party will have to win a few seats along the East West corridor to defeat the PNM and that is becoming more difficult by the day!
PM Dr Keith Rowley has embarked on a campaign about corruption when the PP government was in office during 2010-2015.
Last week PM Dr Keith Rowley spent more than an hour at a PNM public meeting in Chaguanas East talking about corruption after corruption in the former government instead of talking about how his government plans to deal with the current crime problem, the declining economy and the public debt.
Some people are saying that Rowley feels that corruption allegations caused the Kamla Persad-Bissessar to fall, so he is again hoping that resurrecting the allegations of corruption will give the PNM a second term in office.
UNC SENATOR APPOINTMENT STALLED
Following the resignation of UNC Senator Gerald Ramdeen from the Senate based on corruption charges, a vacancy has arisen in the Senate. Ramdeen resigned on May 6th and to date the UNC has appointed no one in his place.
People are asking why the delay. Several UNC supporters are begging to be appointed – Sean Sobers, Ravi Ratiram and Brian Baig – but people are saying that not one of them brings any value to the UNC.
Ravi Ratiram is the UNC-designate candidate for Tabaquite as well as an Alderman in the Couva/Talparo/Tabaquite Regional Corporation, while Sobers and Baig are lawyers.
People are saying that the UNC has to lift its profile and one of the ways of doing so is by appointing in the Senate someone who can lift the image of the party.
People are saying that the person Ms Persad-Bissessar should appoint is attorney-at-law Nyree Alfonso or Tobago Chamber of Commerce official Diane Hadad, in particularly the latter, so that she can put the problems of Tobago in the Parliament since neither the Prime Minister nor the two Tobago MPs is doing that.