Poll shows endorsement for Kamla’s reshuffle

Dear Editor,

With regards to your news item on the cabinet reshuffle in Trinidad, the preliminary qualitative findings of a NACTA poll being conducted in Trinidad show overwhelming endorsement among voters of the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle but they are not pleased with some of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s  appointees.  They are also not pleased with the separation of the Works and Transport Ministries into two Ministries.  Almost everyone says a cabinet shake- up is necessary because some of the Ministers were not up to task and feel a realignment may get them to perform better. Voters feel some of the other Ministers should also have been replaced for lack of performance and that a few of the P.M’s reassignments and promotions are not deserving. Many respondents have been cynical of the cabinet changes saying not much has changed since the Peoples Partnership replaced the PNM a year ago. The findings show that although they like Kamla, disillusionment in the government has been growing.

The poll, being conducted by Vishnu Bisram, has interviewed 380 voters since the reshuffle almost a week ago. Voters overwhelmingly back Kamla on the need for a Ministerial realignment and hope the change will lead to better service for the population. Some of the replacements, especially of the unpopular Ministers, were described “as the best thing that Kamla ever did”. However, voters don’t feel the Works and Transport Ministry should have been split saying Jack Warner has been the best Minister and downgrading his responsibilities is tantamount to a reduction in confidence in him.  However, voters feel newly appointed Transport Minister Devant Maharaj will work in sync with Warner to get more done for public transport especially since they were an effective team over the last year transforming PTSC where Maharaj served as Chairman under Warner. Maharaj is viewed as an excellent choice to improve public transport.

Voters also overwhelmingly endorsed Dr. Fuad Khan as Health Minister saying they are confident he will be far more effective than his predecessor.

The findings show COP supporters are not pleased with the replacement of Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan as Energy Minister although in San Fernando West she has low approval ratings for servicing constituents. A majority supports Kamla in putting her faith in Petroleum Engineer Kevin Ramnarine to succeed in transforming the Energy Ministry.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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