Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Kamla!

She finally did it.

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is now the first woman to lead a major political party in Trinidad's history, after winning the leadership of the UNC last night in a landslide.

She came out of the shadows of her former political mentor,  Basdeo Panday and withstood the attacks from her parliamentary colleagues, most of whom sided with party founder Panday, to prevail as the people's choice.

Not only that, but the entire slate of her backers won spots on the executive as well.

Kamla immediately spoke of the need to heal and unite the party, offering an olive branch to those she defeated:
"In the heart of a campaign, people say things that may offend. But as a mother, a wife, a sister and a daughter, I know how to forgive. I hold no animosity against you."

Of course... the Silver Fox was not quite as gracious in defeat.Before the final results were announced, but when things were already looking grim, the Express asked him if he was ready to offer congratulations to Kamla. Bas had this response:
"’Not yet, certainly there are so many irregularities. I don’t have to concede defeat to anybody, when the elections results are finally declared, that may be the time.’

He also spoke about the other side resorting to 'thuggery', after being booed and jeered by UNC members when he went to cast his vote yesterday morning.

Even after the results were announced, he could not bring himself to utter the words.

From the Express:
Meanwhile a deflated-sounding Panday who stayed at home, indicated that he was not yet ready to concede, that he wouldn’t be going to the party’s Rienzi Complex headquarters last night and wondered why he should. ’I’m having fun..answering my e-mails,’ he said, when asked what he was doing for the evening.

Ah boy... what else you could expect eh?

It will be interesting to see what the next steps will be now. Will the same parliamentary group who sided with Bas, now bow to the people's choice and choose Kamla as the Opposition Leader? Will Bas be able to keep them with him? Will Kamla be tough enough to insist that her colleagues choose her as political leader?

Will his side challenge the results? Will he take his part of the party with him and form yet another political party - to follow the ULF, NAR and Club88?

Oh the bacchanal never ends in Trini politics...

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Kamla!!!!!!!!!!!
    I said it before on this blog and I'll say it again, the old guard is tough and alliances are hard to break in this case. But in spite of that I'm glad the people had the courage to vote for change. Teach these little boys that they are NOT the be-all and end-all of Trinidad politics. Change was bound to come at some point.
    Now bow to the woman in charge! Bow!!!! Ah love iiiiiit!!!!!