By Lloyd Noel
The build up to February 19 was fun and fete and liming and, with the very clear decision later on the same night, from all the fifteen constituencies, our people and the winning party are now faced with the reality in the years ahead.
The responses from around the islands are varied, as far as the size of the victory is concerned, but most people are in agreement that the NNP was the expected winner, although they thought the NDC would have picked up a couple of seats.
We were all proved to be very wrong, and for the second time in these isles and the first in the Caribbean, and maybe the entire Commonwealth of Nations, the same party and prime minister have done it again, with no one in opposition in Parliament to reject anything.
How good, bad or indifferent that state of affairs will turn out to be for our people, only time and the unfolding events in Parliament and the country as a whole will reveal in due course.
We could have three senators in the Upper House, courtesy of the Governor General – who will provide a contrary opinion on matters that must go through Parliament; but the government will still have its way because it also controls the majority in the Senate or Upper House.
Towards the end of this article I should have the number of ministers – if they are named at the swearing ceremony in the Stadium on Sunday, 3 March.
The prime minister has been saying that he is keeping the Cabinet positions at eleven or twelve, to control the government business operations, but I also heard a statement that ALL the MPs will be receiving the same salaries, and I find that very strange if they are not all ministers.
I also heard the prime minister making some remarks pertaining to the Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson, and it all seem to indicate that the commissioner of police is not on the prime minister’s approval list for remaining in that position.
I can only wait to hear and see how that position plays out – but I do hope that the control of absolute power the prime minister and his party now enjoy, as the winners of all the seats in Parliament does not become a tool of repression and revenge for settling long-standing grievances.
Goodness knows that as a people we have gone through and suffered more than our fair share of trials and tribulations from too many of those who were supposed to use their powers to help the people.
Now that the returning prime minister and his party, have again achieved this unique position of being in control of every seat in our parliament, for the second time in our short history, those so endowed should go all the way in showing that they do have something special to offer the people, and do not be bogged down with the same old-fashioned behaviour of taking revenge, and scoring cheap political points.
After forty years of being an independent nation state, we have seen and experienced enough ups and downs and underground to be able to chart a reasonable and responsible pattern of behaviour in the best interest of all our people – regardless of their political attitudes or affiliation.
The prime minister has said as much, and now that he has proven by that landslide victory that the people are on his side as their leader, I very strongly hope and look forward to him rising above the old fashioned pettiness and showing that he deserves their trust and confidence.
As for the NDC and the defeated ex-prime minister who also lost his seat, the talk around town is that he is not interested in holding onto the leadership of the party, so I guess that situation will be dealt with at their upcoming national convention.
If the Karl Hood case that was adjourned late last year is not finalized before the convention, then it would mean that he and the others who were expelled last year, but the court held the expulsion invalid pending the full hearing of the case, they too could take part in the convention..
The prime minister on Sunday appointed himself and eleven other MPs to ministerial and parliamentary secretary positions in the new government. Three MPs were not given any other duties in the administration.
The appointment of senators to sit in the upper House should be completed this week – so that the Parliament can be fully constituted to deal with the nation’s business.