Basdeo Panday was not the first to say it, but he is the one who get's the credit for it here in T&T, that politics has a morality of its own. The system that we have inherited leaves little room for hard and fast positions and much of what is accomplished by governments happens through compromise at every level. For the first time though, we find ourselves minus the 'maximum leader' figure presiding over the party they lead with absolute authority and in its stead we have a coalition of interests and parties that have formed themselves into different group, cliques and tribes existing in harmony for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is the attaining and holding on to power at all costs. As political leader of the COP Prakash Ramadhar knows this as he has had to fight one of the hardest fights of his life to attain the position he now holds. The Prime Minister herself is the leader of a coalition made up of some diverse interests and competing personalities in constant conflict, and one only has to look at Suruj Rambachan, Jack Warner and Roodal Moonilal (much less wild cards like Herbert Volney and Chandresh Sharma) to understand that her party MUST require constant management if not supervision on a daily basis if it is to survive itself. We've been down the roads as to the how and the why of all of this ad nauseum for the past two years, but it is into this that Prakash tried to throw his spanner over what he and others believes to be the unethical behavior of a former member of the COP. Purportedly appointed to the position as part of their share of the spoils, whether this is indeed so or not is no longer the issue but whether it was worth threatening the stability of the government over such a minor internal issue is.
If (and I am being very loose with this assumption) it is true as they say that while there is no written record of any of this but that it was verbally agreed to that the COP would get two Mayors then fine, in the spirit of the same compromise and agreement, why not approach it from within the Partnership? Was there no one around to advise/warn Prakash that giving the Prime Minister an ultimatum was bound to fail when one considers the 'precarious' nature of her own position? And if he (and I assume that he is speaking for his advisors as well) truly believes that this was a political issue, why not handle it politically? There were so many other ways for this to be played, why go the route of a confrontation? And most importantly, if there are no other ways to communicate within the coalition other than by confrontation, why are they even contemplating remaining in it?
I am not in a position to know for sure but I believe that the frustration of being a junior partner in a partnership government and seeing the fruits of what they believed to be their labor being carted off by others was difficult to come to terms with, and then watching those same fruits being used to woo their members away became too much to bear and they snapped at the top. And if that is the case they have only themselves to blame because they were warned since the construct was announced that the UNC was an unethical beast by nature, trained to be the counterbalance to the PNM, and that parties like those play by an entirely different set of rules. They were warned CONSTANTLY to get their political house in order. Prakash had every opportunity to use the current gains to begin the work of building the COP into a truly national party, but it seems he (like Dookeran before him) mistook a political opportunity for victory, and instead of working to build the COP in the forty one constituencies in time for the next elections, they instead turned their attention to presiding over functions, focusing on side issues and to celebrating or mourning on behalf of the people of T&T. They were warned that the electorate was starting to view the COP as a'fight a cause' organization and not a true political party, but some people just cannot be guided beyond what they already believe. What it is the old people say about those who do not hear?