THE People’s National Movement (PNM) will be painted with the brush of corruption and the issues surrounding Marlene McDonald will impact on the elections.

This according to political analyst Bishnu Ragoonath who said given the work of the police there may be more corruption-related matters coming to the fore such as the “fake oil” scandal among others.

“When those things come up, the PNM will be painted with the same corruption brush as the UNC and it would not matter which era, which term, they will be painted with that brush,” said Ragoonath.

Speaking to the Express by phone yesterday, he said the PNM had campaigned heavily on a platform of anti-corruption.

“It most likely will have an impact upon the elections because the plank upon which they based their campaign and strategies thus far has been that the UNC was the corrupt party and now they are dealing with the issue of corruption within their own ranks. That is going to impact upon their capacity to campaign on that primary plank,” he said.

However, Ragoonath believes the PNM will survive and the damage control to be rolled out will steer the direction of the party.

“We are still a long time away from an election and anything can happen,” he said.

Lack of due diligence

Ragoonath said the Prime Minister’s leadership, decisions and the issue of due diligence will be called into question given his decision to re-hire McDonald despite being informed by former police commissioner Stephen Williams there was an active police investigation with respect to allegations against her.

He said the controversy surrounding former Government senator Garvin Simonette also speaks to a lack of due diligence.

“The Opposition will use all of this in their campaign and it is up to the Prime Minister to do damage control and get his party beyond this messy issue,” said Ragoonath.

“The spin doctors will be at work I am almost certain of it, they will determine how best to do damage control.”


WHAT started as a normal day for businesses and Government ministries in Port of Spain yesterday, turned into a mass evacuation following an explosion at the Parkade. Around 8 a.m., employees were evacuated to a muster point along the Brian Lara Promenade.

“I am not apologising! Not before Minister Young apologises.”

This was the defiant response of UNC Senator Taharqa Obika to the ruling of Senate President Christine Kangaloo, that he must upon his return to the Senate “unreservedly and unequivocally” apologise to the Presiding Officer, the members of the Senate and the people of Trinidad and Tobago for his “objectionable, abusive, insulting and offensive words” which were uttered in the Senate yesterday, prior his eviction.

SPECIAL Reserve Police (SRP) officer Sharon Roop, who won her right last November to wear her hijab while in uniform, has been awarded $185,000 by the High Court for breach of her constitutional rights.