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Analyst: TPP’s criticism of state agencies could affect party’s growth

Martin George & Company > Newspaper Articles  > Analyst: TPP’s criticism of state agencies could affect party’s growth

Analyst: TPP’s criticism of state agencies could affect party’s growth

Analyst: TPP’s criticism of state agencies could affect party’s growth

POLITICAL analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath says the Tobago People’s Party’s (TPP’s) confrontation with state agencies may affect its growth as a new political institution.

He also dismissed Chief Secretary Farley Augustine’s allegation that Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher is in cahoots with the government to undermine the THA.

Both issues were raised on the TPP’s platform on Sunday at the party’s launch in Scarborough.

Ragoonath told Newsday, “I disagree with their view that licensing officers cannot come to Tobago and that the police (are) doing the PNM’s bidding. State institutions have every right to be in Tobago as well as in Trinidad.”

Trinidad-based licensing officers recently visited Tobago to hold road-traffic exercises.

He added, “By sending us on that narrative, you are creating a challenge for yourself, because as you go later in the advancement of the politics and the operations of the administration, you will realise that you will need to have the support from these institutions that they are heavily criticising by giving the impression that they are a runaway team on their own. I think they have to be mindful about how they are talking about some of the state institutions.”

What is working for the TPP, Ragoonath said, is its narrative that the party is the only one seeking Tobago’s interest.

“Pushing the autonomy argument, and what they are selling as the perceived persecution by a PNM central government, they are using that to build their base within the context of Tobago.”

On this approach, he commented: “From what I have seen and what I have heard, I think that the TPP has adopted a good strategy, and I think the PNM is playing into their hands, literally, by how some of the actions that are being played out in Tobago are happening.”

Ragoonath also responded to Augustine’s appeal, during the launch, for the Prime Minister to call a general election.

Augustine had said in an earlier interview that the party was gunning for the Tobago East and West seats in the election, which is constitutionally due in 2025.

Ragoonath dismissed his call as “normal political rhetoric,” saying the TPP is simply not ready.

“It was not meant to have any effect, because the TPP is not ready to take on any major general election. In fact, they still have to build themselves and build their base as they go forward.”

The Tobago Business Chamber, meanwhile, said the TPP must present its manifesto.

“The launch of the TPP changes the political dynamic in Tobago in that there is now a third party on the political landscape. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out as we move forward,” chamber chairman Martin George told Newsday in a WhatsApp voice note.

“However, one would want to see what are the plans, manifesto, the political underpinnings and philosophies of this new TPP.

“We would want to see how…it’s different from the PDP (Progressive Democratic Patriots), from which they were spawned, how is it that they are distinguishing themselves in the political arena and how it is they plan to manage and govern themselves going forward.”

George said the TPP must also present its constitution, “how they are going to regulate themselves as a unit, a body. Because at the end of the day it is not just a question of getting into power. It is how you manage that once you are there and how you deliver goods and services for the people of Tobago.”


Analyst: TPP’s criticism of state agencies could affect party’s growth

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