You can call her “Queen KPB.” Well, she has been called worse.
Former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar re-established herself as the number one in the number two party yesterday, as her “Team UNC” whipped Dr Roodal Moonilal’s “Team Loyalists” and Vasant Bharath’s “Team Reconnect” in the UNC’s internal election.
It was not even close. To add some context, more people show up to watch the Pro League’s third from bottom club, Point Fortin Civic, than those who turned up to vote for “Stink Mouth” Moonie (1,466 votes) and “Porsche” Bharath (1,102 votes).
Or, to go further, even Prakash Ramadhar (1,472) got more votes at the COP’s internal election last year. And “Praks” couldn’t even win a campaign for the big piece of chicken in his own house!
Not that Tanty Kamla’s 15,477 votes were that impressive either. But, judging from Asha Javeed’s investigative pieces for the Trinidad Express, at least KPB can argue that several of her party’s supporters were not available to vote, having buried their assets and bought one-way tickets to Panama after the September 7 general elections.
Kamla promised beforehand that her victory would mean the end of the line for her backstabbing rivals. And, presumably, there is a confused funeral home director trying to build a coffin right now with Moonilal’s before and after photographs.
Even late Russia dictator Joseph Stalin was more generous to his rivals and often waited years to consolidate power before he exiled potential threats while he continued to visit Vladimir Lenin at his sick bed, despite regular disputes between the pair.
But then Stalin probably would not have gotten away with taking his hairdresser to Parliament either.
Trinidad and Tobago’s politics are a different kettle of fish entirely.
And spare a thought for the UNC electorate.
Persad-Bissessar led the “Yellow Shirts” into five straight election defeats. But, faced with an option of giving Moonilal or Bharath a chance, they decided to stick with Queen KPB and see what happens next.
It is the most bizarre case of loyalty since the West Indies Cricket Board’s stakeholders opted to give its president, Dave Cameron a second term, although he brought the organisation to the verge of bankruptcy and alienated players, fans, the media and the all-powerful India cricket board.
So, to the potential detriment of the country, the PNM will continue to be faced by an Opposition which is as steady and sensible as the Brazil defence that was humiliated 7-1 by Germany at the 2014 World Cup.
The UNC won’t have long to wait to be reacquainted with that sinking feeling of post-election gloom either. There are by-elections tomorrow in the Malabar South and Auzonville/Tunapuna seats and it is not the Team Loyalists or Reconnection who lie in wait.
And “by-election” has become a byword for battering these days, if you wear yellow. Licks like rain and nowhere to shelter from the EBC.
Tanty Kamla better enjoy her Cristal while she can. We reiterate, “Cristal” not “Kristyan.”