Warner: PP stands stronger
By CAROL MATROO Tuesday, June 19 2012
Works and Infrastructure Minister Austin Jack Warner said the People’s Partnership (PP) coalition would continue to stand strong despite the withdrawal of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and the resignation of its political leader, David Abdulah, as a Government Senator.
“I am not surprised by his resignation. If he believes it is better outside the People’s Partnership than inside, then good luck to him.
“One would have thought that he would have been more value to his party and to his union, to be in the Government than outside the Government, but then again he served two masters,” Warner told members of the media after a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the Port-of-Spain Experimental Traffic Scheme at the ministry, on Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
The MSJ was a member of the five-party coalition PP Government which included the United National Congress (UNC) led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Congress of the People (COP) led by Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) with political leader Ashworth Jack and the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) with Chief Servant Makandal Daaga as its leader.
“In this case one from five does not leave four, one from five leaves the People’s Partnership more solidified, stronger and we are able to withstand all the attacks, all the attacks from outside and inside. The attacks from outside we shall deal with when they arise. We are able now to stay focused,” Warner said.
When asked if he saw the need for restructuring the party, given that there would be another general election in the next two years, and whether there would be a Partnership again, Warner, the UNC chairman, said for all who were “reticent and silent” during the Patrick Manning-led regime, but were now so very vocal, the media included, “where were they all the time?
“Suddenly everybody is a problem solver. Everybody knows what is good for the country, everybody has an idea, everybody knows what is wrong and what is right. Where were all these thinkers before the last two years?
“We as a Government have to understand that are some days we shall get knocks and we shall stand up and shall face them, but we must remain focussed and fix this country, and make it a better place for people, and anyone who believes that the alternative, which is the PNM, is better, so be it.
I would like to go to a mass meeting of the MSJ, I hope they have one. I want to be there to see how strong this party is, what the membership is about,” the minister said.
Asked if Labour Minister Errol McLeod portfolio was in jeopardy, Warner said while McLeod signed the Fyzabad Declaration of May 2010 as the MSJ leader, he contested the general election on a UNC ticket and was elected as Pointe-a-Pierre MP.
“Mr McLeod’s strength lies with labour and so, too, is Mr Rudy Indarsingh and they represent labour. Mr Abdulah, in a sense, was one of those who also represented labour, but he chose to leave.
“I wish Mr Abdulah well. If he believes that to form a party, the MSJ, you have to try to destroy a government, then something has to be wrong here, but thank God the Government is strong,” Warner said.