Commentary: Disapproval of a President

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By Neil Gosine

THE opposition leader and her MPs decided not to attend the inauguration of the country’s seventh President and this showed their disapproval towards President Kangaloo, although the UNC leader stated that  she was willing to work with the President in line with her constitutional duties.

The opposition team stated that they respected the office but not the person, the PNM bias installation of its President was an opportunity for the Office of the Opposition Leader to show its disapproval of a very biased PNM president that holds to the PNM’s loyalty above all.

In my humble view, this was the right time to demonstrate the disapproval. We all want unity but how can an opposition show unity after all the president’s previous actions in parliament? President Kangaloo has openly shown a long time political alignment to the PNM very much so personally and through her associates. She has the PNM juice painted all over her in red in her rulings overseeing her previous post as the President of the Senate.

Our constitution allows for this and that’s where we really need a change. It is irrelevant whether the person is an open supporter of the PNM or a closet supporter or an independent member of society. The main fact of the matter is that the government’s nominee for president will pass without issues unless enough government MPs break ranks to decrease the ruling party’s majority. So the main question is what is the essence of the constitution supposed to convey? I do not think it was to allow this, giving the PM dictatorship powers when he stated it’s his choice and he can do it according to the existing Constitution.

It is an uncomfortable position when 50% of the country disagrees with the PM’s choice and has no recourse under our Constitution. Basically our Constitution has many similarities to a dictatorship rule and of course our current PM uses his powers accordingly.

We live in times where this should be protested vigorously where we see the persons in high office do what they want without care or consideration of the whole population they represent. They skirt the laws blatantly, cover over facts and offer little to no excuses when doing it. Because of the constitution the opposition is virtually powerless to get the government to be fair and transparent. The real issue here is the PM’s choice to ram down our throats a person that a lot of citizens feel will give them no voice in the country because of this choice.

We continue to have drama and more drama in this country and no side gives an inch but especially the government will not want to offer a peaceful resolution with outstretched hands. They are in power and as a government MP stated in Parliament deal with it. Don’t the prime minister realise that the country is suffering now and some compromise should be made to resolve all the differences between us.

This Government is not for PNM voters only although it definitely feels this way. It’s for all the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago that is approximately 309,654 citizens that voted for the opposition, almost half the electorate.

If we continue to bash these citizens and not listen to their voices, something will have to be give in the next elections to bring back some sense of fairness and accountability in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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