Dr Moonilal is impressive
Tuesday, November 30 2010
THE EDITOR: I refer to the letter by Selwyn Samaroo of the University of Tennessee concerning a statement made by the Honourable Prime Minster, Mrs Kamla Persad -Bissessar in relation to the abilities of Dr Roodal Moonilal.
It is heartening that Samaroo appeared to have focused on the issues of succession rather than the personality of Moonilal, although he did make reference to the “proven leadership” of other potential candidates.
But unfortunately some of his statements, which influenced his thinking, are incorrect. First Samaroo said, and repeated in his letter, that the Prime Minister endorsed Dr Moonilal as her successor “in any eventuality”.
At the private “Friends of Rudi” event the Prime Minister was very careful to say: “If, God forbid, something were to happen to me, I believe Dr Moonilal would be the one to take over.” The Prime Minister was indeed referring to a possible precipitous occurrence in an inter regnum situation where it would become necessary for the President to immediately select an ongoing Prime Minister, and in so doing would be guided to the member who enjoys the support of the majority of the current members in the House of Representatives. She was not referring to a normal end of term elections where naturally the party members would have to select its political leader in accordance with its constitution.
Was she breaching ethics or seeking to demoralise other cabinet members? The Prime Minister’s statement at this private function took cue from several speakers including two ministers, both of whom Samaroo suggested had “proven leadership skills”, and had all spoken glowingly of Moonilal’s impressive academic background and proven competence as an astute politician with superior leadership skills.
The Prime Minister among other things related how she was astounded to learn that Moonilal was writing his critical final examination for his law degree during the intensive election campaign, and that she had advised him to seek an exception to delay the finals, the last of which he wrote the morning after elections. As we all know, Moonilal persisted, was successful and was recently admitted to the Bar.
The Prime Minister’s acclamation was not solely based on Moonilal’s recent success at the Bar examinations, but I am sure, on his overall qualifications and experience and his continuing contribution to the People’s Partnership Government.