Letters: Rodney Charles was Mastermind of UNC Defeat

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Caption: Dinesh Rambally, left, greets Naparima MP Rodney Charles at his press conference recently

Dear Editor,

Of all the people who might accuse Kamla of not having the ability to win a general election, the most bastardly shameless to do so has to be Rodney Charles.

For those who might not recall, in 2015 Rodney Charles was not only the minister of communications but was also appointed as the campaign manager for the UNC. So if Kamla Persad-Bissessar was the face of that defeat, as she was the prime minister and political leader of the UNC at that time, then the mastermind behind that defeat would in fact be Rodney Charles, the man who ran what is considered by many to be the absolute worst reelection campaign for a sitting government in history.


If there was a single wrong step that the UNC could have taken in that campaign, then Rodney Charles made sure that they took it, from his atrocious and unnecessary attacks on Dr Rowley’s personal and family life, to his absolute failure to communicate the actual plans and proposals that the UNC was putting forward. 

Rodney Charles is the man who blundered the 2015 general election campaign so hard, that the UNC have been unable to properly recover from his mistakes almost ten years later. But despite this monumental folly, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, being the gracious leader that is, kept him in the Parliament because she recognized that he still had value to contribute to the UNC. Of course, she also removed him as a campaign manager because she recognized that his claims of strategic planning were woefully overstated. 


So as if to really drive home the point of how clueless Rodney Charles truly is, today I read an article where he was questioning the authority and constitution of an Elections Management Committee for the upcoming internal election of the UNC. Says Rodney Charles, “An Elections Management Committee is not mentioned in our Constitution and it’s therefore a creature of our party’s leadership.” Which is true. But then again, the UNC Constitution only mentions that an internal election must be held for all executive positions, but prescribes absolutely no instructions on its procedures.

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That being said, there has always existed an Election Management Committee, and that committee has always been appointed by the sitting executive, so Rodney’s obliviousness is absurd. Since he has been part of the Parliamentary Arm, he should have been aware of Dr Rampersad Parasram leading the Committee in 2015 and 2017, and then Mr Ramesh Persad Maharaj taking over in 2020 and 2022. So I can only imagine that since Rodney has never served on an Executive, such information never bothered his brain until he suddenly became interested in the leadership of the party earlier this year. 


Of course, on the flip side of that coin, we have Ramona Ramdial, who I heard is in the process of trying to find a UNC jersey in her house that’s not worn out since 2020. With every passing year Ramona ages like bitter wine made from only the most sour of grapes, desperate to return to the fortune of having an office and doing nothing. The question I have for Rushton Paray and his cohorts, who are quick to point to the UNC’s track record under the current leadership, is how hypocritical must you be to want to include a person who filed for candidacy in the internal elections three times prior and lost? Is this truly the person you think can help you win the next general election? Because what you’re doing is trying to remove Kamla Persad Bissessar, a person elected to lead the UNC on five occasions since 2010, and install a person rejected by that same membership in three elections, and claim that you’re changing things for the better. And that brings into question how delusional these new challengers must be.Because if the current leadership of the UNC are dead horses, as Ramona would like us to believe, then she has been dead and cooked since 2017.

And while there is the old saying that we should not beat a dead horse, the truth is that Ramona is asking us to do it every time she pops out of her coffin like a Good Friday bobolee looking for more licks in an internal election. And make no mistake, licks is exactly what she and the rest of her team are guaranteed to get on June 15th. 

Ravi Balgobin Maharaj


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