Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath says both the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC) would face difficulty if a snap general election was to be called because of high levels of disenchantment and disillusionment among their membership.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Ragoonath responded to claims by former St Augustine MP and challenger to the post of political leader of the UNC Vasant Bharath that the Opposition party would not be in a position to win if a general election was to be called now.
Bharath, in an interview with the Sunday Newsday, said despite how bad things were in the country, the UNC was not properly positioned to claim a victory at the polls at present because its current leadership returned to its base support and has not done work along the marginal East/West corridor.
Ragoonath in response said Bharath may have a point. He said for the UNC to win a general election they must win one or two seats along the East/West corridor.
“He may be right in that they have not been working in the non traditional UNC areas and to that extent there is that concern. Tunapuna, for instance, or St Joseph or La Horquetta/Talparo in order that they win those seats, they have to work the East/West corridor,” Ragoonath said.
He admitted, however, that he did not know if the UNC was working in those constituencies.
“Looking forward, I am not sure either party is in a position to win an election at this time because of severe disenchantment and disillusionment among the membership of both parties,” he said.
Ragoonath pointed to current policies of the PNM as the cause for disenchantment, while UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar continued to have the support among the rank and file of the UNC.
“She she will have a very good showing this time around, she cannot simply be dismissed,” he said.
Ragoonath said the main question would be whether Persad-Bissessar would be able to move the party beyond its traditional base and into other seats to win an election again.
On the UNC’s internal election, he was not very optimistic of Bharath’s chances of snatching the post of UNC political leader from Persad-Bissessar.
The UNC National Executive Elections is set for November 26.