Trinidad & Tobago: Problems for People's Partnership

Much of the political discourse in the Trinidad and Tobago blogosphere of late has been about the shortcomings of the People's Partnership Government. It was no secret that there was dissension within the party ranks, but yesterday's news that the Movement for Social Justice has officially pulled out of the Partnership Government has got a few bloggers talking about possible repercussions.

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog, which collates mainstream media stories for online consumption, summarized this latest development by saying:

In a highly anticipated move, political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah yesterday announced his party’s withdrawal from the coalition People’s Partnership (PP) and his resignation as a Government Senator.

In response, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she has accepted his resignation, thanked him for his service, but in a parting shot noted that the demands he had made of Government were ‘impossible, unreasonable and reckless.’

The blog also published the Prime Minister's full statement on the Movement for Social Justice's resignation. Judging from the responses in the comments section, it was clear that the move did not come as a surprise to most readers. Loyal Trini said:

MSJ was using time as a means to launch a bombshell but how effective is it when the writing was on the wall for all to see for some time now. What is glaring is the incitement to encourage COP [Congress of the People, another political party that comprises the government partnership] to ensue i.e. to break down the Partnership slowly.

In the same vein, kid5rivers examined the things that could kill a partnership in this post:

In a partnership, two (or more) separate entities voluntarily join together in order to accomplish an objective which, individually, none may or may not have been able to achieve.

Having partnered, each becomes the agent of the other(s), thus each becomes individually liable for the debts of all…consequently, it makes good sense for partners to get a firm grip of the happenings which cause a partnership to end, as under:

1. The completion of the project for whose execution the partnership was formed, or, before such time, any of the following:

2. The death of, or onset of insanity in, a partner.

3. The resignation of a partner.

4. The effluxion of the time allotted for completing the project.

Did I miss anything?

5. The partners agreeing to bring it to an end.

We came to dance. Shall we? Or, have you forgotten who brung you?

That last statement, of course, alludes to whether the United National Congress, the party which the Prime Minister leads, would have been able to win the country's last general elections without the coalition's support.

The Eternal Pantomime, meanwhile, mused about what the population could expect following the MSJ party's resignation:

The MSJ pulled out of our coalition Government…the PPG is Dead, Long Live the PPG.

Now, that isn’t to say that the government is fallen. Oh, far from it. Even without the Trojan Horse, more commonly known as the COP the UNC would still be firmly entrenched in Government.

The MSJ had one senator in the upper house of the Parliament, David Abdullah. And so you are going to hear the supporters of the UNC and COP now derogate and denigrate the MSJ, and call them useless and marginalise them and their contribution to the coalition winning, and you are also going to hear them say that Labour was always in the PNM back pocket anyway…And that is a bad sign for any coalition.

She also noted that “Abdullah’s comments came at around 1pm [yesterday] and by about 5pm the [Prime Minister] had sent out a response that made the rounds on all the blogs, groups and FB political sites”, calling the reaction “unnecessarily nasty”:

In light of David Abdullah’s comments [which the blog also republished], and if you’ve followed this blog since its inception, I’m hadrpressed to think why Kamla feels the MSJ would have stayed. What I do know is that given her response today I am tempted to think that Kamla vex David pullout before she was ready for him to do so!

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