Political analysts adopt 'wait and see' approach on Cox

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts Fer­die Fer­reira and Mar­i­ano Browne have both tak­en a “wait and see” ap­proach to the ap­point­ment of Don­na Cox as Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter.

Cox, a for­mer Laven­tille East Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, was sworn in Mon­day morn­ing af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley re­voked the ap­point­ment of Stu­art Young from the min­istry on Sun­day night.


How­ev­er, while Fer­reira said he be­lieves Cox was more than ca­pa­ble of han­dling her new po­si­tion, Browne was more crit­i­cal, say­ing he does not be­lieve she was qual­i­fied for the post.

Fer­reira de­clined to say what he made of her ap­point­ment as he said it was the right of the Prime Min­is­ter to ap­point Cab­i­net mem­bers as he sees fit.

He said Cox has been giv­en an­oth­er op­por­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide ser­vice to the coun­try and it will on­ly be when she has had time to func­tion in the po­si­tion will any­one be able to judge her suit­abil­i­ty for the post.

“I al­ways give peo­ple the ben­e­fit of the doubt, she is an ex­pe­ri­enced politi­cian and I think she was a par­ty of­fi­cer as well. I pre­fer not to get in­to the “whys” of that ap­point­ment,” Fer­reira said.

He said the res­ur­rec­tion of Cox was just an­oth­er char­ac­ter­is­tic of the lo­cal po­lit­i­cal life.

“This is one of the un­for­tu­nate parts of the po­lit­i­cal life in Trinidad: our lim­it­ed mem­o­ries. We have seen too many of these peo­ple that go out and come back in, os­tracised then put on pedestals, its part of the po­lit­i­cal land­scape.”

Fer­reira said he was not at all sur­prised by Row­ley’s move to re­voke Young’s ap­point­ment to the min­istry though as he said it was clear that Young was over­bur­dened.

He said it was un­for­tu­nate that Row­ley took so long to re­alise that Young could not cope with his mul­ti­ple port­fo­lios.

Ref­er­enc­ing the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­scrip­tion in late-June that Young was his “Gar­ry Sobers”, Fer­reira said, “I think what he has done is be­fore Garfield Sobers get run out was put him a lit­tle low­er done on the or­der. It is bet­ter to come out not-out than out. No­body could es­cape the fact that the load was a lit­tle too heavy.”

Mar­i­ano Browne on the oth­er hand said he does not be­lieve that a new ap­point­ment to the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­istry will have any ef­fect as no mat­ter who holds the port­fo­lio, will not change the re­al­i­ty of the gov­ern­ment’s per­for­mance.

He said he does not think that Cox was qual­i­fied for the po­si­tion.

“The ques­tion of whether she is up to the port­fo­lio is left to see, by train­ing she is not a com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert, if there is any­body who is trained in com­mu­ni­ca­tions or un­der­stands it, it would have been the min­is­ter who now works in Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion- Max­ie Cuffie- but Cuffie has al­ready been in that po­si­tion and he was not con­sid­ered to be out­stand­ing.”

Browne said Cox’s re­turn to the fore­front of the PNM may al­so mean she was be­ing con­sid­ered to re­place one of the cur­rent MPs for the Laven­tille East and Laven­tille West con­stituen­cies.

He ques­tioned the fate of sacked Sen­a­tor Fos­ter Cum­mings, who had his po­si­tion re­voked to make room for Cox. Cum­mings is the gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the PNM.

“You would no­tice that the gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the PNM got his po­si­tion in the sen­ate got turned over to Cox, the ques­tion to be asked is what is go­ing to hap­pen to Fos­ter Cum­mings? What is his fu­ture? I am sure he didn’t give his po­si­tion just like that.”

Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad

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