Major political fallout

regionaljackwarnerpensivePORT OF SPAIN — Jack Warner’s victory in Chaguanas West has laid bare some uncertainties within the People’s Partnership coalition.

The People’s Partnership, which won 29 seats in May 2010, started out with a 21/6/2 equation — 21 United National Congress members, six from the Congress of the People and two from the Tobago Organisation of the People.

By yesterday, with the resignation of St. Joseph MP Herbert Volney from the UNC and the electoral success of the Independent Liberal Party leader Warner, the UNC numbers were reduced to 19.

And there is now doubt about the stability of those numbers since observers feel that with the strength of Warner’s victory, the ILP could serve as a rallying point for those who see themselves as marginalised within the coalition.

With the entry of the ILP, it also means the country now has a six-party Parliament — the largest number in the legislature’s political history.

The 41-member Parliament would now comprise the UNC, COP, TOP, ILP and People’s National Movement. The National Joint Action committee, which would make six, has a lone member in the Senate.

Political observers yesterday said with the victory of Warner, there is likely to be a power shift within the Partnership, away from the prime minister and increasingly toward the individual members of parliament, whose support is necessary to keep her government in office. The prime minister needs every man on board now. And the hands of individual MPs are likely to be strengthened.

Arima MP Rodger Samuel, who told the COP National Council he planned to resign from the government two weeks ago, yesterday declined to reveal his political plans.

He said he was hoping to have a meeting with the prime minister shortly.

“Sometime this week, I will meet with her and share all that is in my heart,” he said.

He said he owed it to her, to speak with her first before saying anything to anybody.

“After I speak with her, then I’ll take it to the next level,” he said.

Samuel said yesterday he had always received “tremendous respect” from Warner.

“I cannot fault him for that. One of the persons thatrespected me tremendously was him,” Samuel said. He said he texted Warner late last night to congratulate him, saying that “he needed to take some time and to give God some time”.

Asked his thoughts on the election result, Samuel said it was expected.

“Whatever God would have, God would have.” (Express)

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