I note with interest the PNM’S political drama as the party portrays itself as defenders of decency and integrity.
On Saturday, the PNM General Council suspended one of its long-standing members Harry Ragoonanan, who is facing corruption allegations over some buses. In a hypocritical show for the media, party jefe Stuart Young was gloating that “no one is above corruption and no one stands above the law.”
If only that were really so in the PNM.
If the party is so concerned about corruption and allegations against its people, why is Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi not facing the same disciplinary action from the General Council?
Al-Rawi is facing allegations of being involved in a conspiracy to wiretap, bribe, and burglarise the office of UNC Senator and Attorney-at-Law, Gerald Ramdeen. Al Rawi has dismissed the allegations as a fabrication but Ragoonanan has also denied allegations made against him as being false. So why the double standard?
It gets worse. This is the second criminal investigation involving the AG yet Al-Rawi continues to sit in Cabinet while a lesser underling is suspended by the party on the basis of an allegation.
The second police matter comes as the first criminal investigation is still in progress. The first probe centres on Al-Rawi’s children handling sophisticated high-powered weapons at the Defence Force Camp Cumuto. Police are still attempting to determine if there were violations of the Firearms Act, the Military Training (Prohibition) Act and the Children Act 12 of 2012.
It appears Al-Rawi is not the only untouchable.
Rohan Sinanan is facing very serious allegations about the so-called Ferrygate scandal but remains in Cabinet. Deputy Political Leader and POS South MP Marlene McDonald is under investigation over a questionable payment of $375,000 to the non-existent Calabar Foundation, twelve days before the 2010 General Election.
All of them – Ragoonanan, Marlene, Rohan and Faris – are facing allegations or are under investigation. So why has the General Council brought out the big stick for one and not the others? It’s because in the PNM, some people “are more equal than others”.
The PNM General Council’s double-standard is a farce intended to show it is dealing with corruption when it is clear that some of its senior people are indeed above the law.
I wonder if the move against Ragoonanan is because of his public pronouncement about alleged corruption in the party concerning the Cabo Star and Ocean Flower 2 Ferrygate issues?
The PNM in opposition was adamant that whenever an investigation was launched against a sitting minister, that minister should step aside until his/her name was cleared.
In Government, the PNM is doing exactly the opposite.
The PNM in opposition was also adamant that the Attorney General’s Office had no investigative powers.
In Government, it is doing the exact opposite.
The PNM can talk about dealing with corruption in the party but until it acts against ALL its members facing allegations or investigations, everything would be just a show that will fool only the gullible party supporters.
Ragoonanan is the little fish. The big fish are still swimming safely in the PNM pond.