(Trinidad Express) – Prime Minister Patrick Manning says there are strong and dangerous men surrounding United National Congress Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. And should she win the general election on May 24, Persad-Bissessar would only reign while the others rule, he said.
Manning was speaking at the People’s National Movement political meeting at Carry Road, Tabaquite, on Monday night.
He said, “I am looking at what Mrs Persad-Bissessar is doing and I have come to the conclusion that the lady lacks the political acumen required to govern Trinidad and Tobago. And she also lacks the strength that is required, especially in the context of the very strong and dangerous men that surround her at this time. It is clear to me that their plan is that she will reign and they will rule.”
Manning singled out four members of the UNC coalition – National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) leader Makandal Daaga, Movement for Social Change chairman Errol McLeod, UNC deputy leader Surujrattan Rambachan and UNC chairman Jack Warner.
He said Daaga came from the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and was one who believed in using violence as a means of achieving social change.
“I want to ask Daaga one question. Do you still see violence as an important instrument in social change and if no how do you see it? From what I see nothing has changed with the gentleman, he even still wearing a Dashiki (African wear) and I can’t remember the last time I see a Dashiki in this country,” he said.
Manning also asked what role Daaga would play in the development of the manifesto of the UNC.
McLeod, he said, who was involved in politics in the 1980s, was completely out of touch with the people of Trinidad and Tobago. And Rambachan, Manning said, had criminal allegations made against him in Parliament back in 1987. He said Warner was also corrupt.
Manning said when a coalition government collapses it affects the entire society. He said when the PNM called early elections in 1995 and last week, it did not mean that the Government had collapsed.
“The PNM Government is intact, the PNM is intact and able to conduct the business of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
Manning also dismissed a newspaper editorial which listed countries where coalition governments have worked.
“But all those countries were developed societies, the only non-developed country was Malaysia. And the only difference between Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago is that here we have freedom of the press,” he said.