Trinidad MP says Charrandas Persaud a regional hero

Barry Padarath

(Trinidad Guardian) Opposition MP Barry Padarath yesterday hailed Guyana MP Charrandas Persaud as a hero for democracy in the Caribbean and warned the Dr Keith Rowley-led Government that it could find itself in a similar situation.

On Friday, Guyana President David Granger’s coalition government toppled after Persaud voted with the Opposition in a no-confidence motion against the government.

Commenting on this development at the Buen Intento Sports and Cultural Organisation in Princes Town yesterday, Padarath said, “I think Mr Charrandas Persaud is a hero not only for some of the people in Guyana but throughout the region and also in T&T.

“I am very surprised at the level of response from the people of T&T with respect to this particular development that is happening in Guyana. It reminds me that the power of the people is greater than the people in power and I think if it is anything that Charrandas Persaud has demonstrated, is that it must be people first, it must be about the people, those that you wish to govern and listening to the electorate.

“And I think sooner or later the Government of T&T will find itself in a similar situation, if not through a vote of no-confidence, it will happen through the will of the people, whether it is taking it to the street or through general election or a local government election.”

He warned that January will be a horse of a different colour, as the Opposition plans to ramp up their activities to get the Government out of office. He said Persaud made a conscience vote, but in T&T politicians need to have a conscience before they could take a conscience vote.

Padarath said he did not expect any Government member to vote against Rowley or his Government.

Meanwhile, in a statement yesterday, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said there were many lessons for T&T coming out of this situation.

Noting that Granger appeared more popular than Rowley, he said, “Given the widespread mismanagement, corruption and arrogance prevailing in Government, it is a matter of time before the PNM implodes.”

He also said there can be no room for unholy shotgun alliance making.

“Having noted unity sounds over the past week, we are cautious to seek any ad-hoc relations that respond to the expediency of the time but cannot hold for the longer term.”

He said over the past three and a half years the UNC has led the anti-Government movement and stood tall in and out of the Parliament by exposing the Rowley regime at every turn.

“Now that the PNM Government appears to be on the way out, it cannot be that we engage with persons who have not open their mouths in three years against Rowley but parked in a corner sniping the UNC and its leaders. All would-be unity aspirants should now find the courage to attack Rowley and the PNM and not just a select few of us in the frontline. Many who did not find it convenient to identify with the struggles of the parliamentary Opposition now talk about uniting to save T&T.”

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