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The 2018 Calendar—Govt, Opp, CJ, tested

Saturday, December 30, 2017

In 2016, Government quarters projected 2017 would have been the year of recovery. In hindsight, many quarters would have begged to beg to differ on that.

Despite continuing economic ups and downs, some Government quarters on Wednesday were optimistic mid-term 2018 will be a year of growth.

What’s certain is 2018 will be a year of tests for assorted avenues of authority and—in the mid term trough—for getting in shape for what lies ahead, politically.

January’s calendar is filled with matters being settled early to pave the way for managing other issues: election of a new President and selection of a Police Commissioner, who’ll soon be put to respective tests.

Tested also will be all three arms of the state—executive, legislative, judicial.

Embattled Chief Justice Ivor Archie who returned home during the last week.

For Government, realigning and consolidating internally, plus finessing governance externally, readying for three elections from 2019 onwards.

For the Opposition, Parliamentary sparring on proposed legislation plus several members, now challenged legally.

JANUARY: Procurement Board entering. Also expressions of interest for Health’s biggest physical project, the PoS Hospital Central Block construction.

4th—Petrotrin and Ramesh L Maharaj face off on AV Oil/Gas lease termination.

8th—Deadline for nominations for a President.

11th—Ex-AG Anand Ramlogan’s alleged witness-tampering matter in court.

11th—Sentencing of PNM senator Dr Lester Henry on DUI guilty plea.

House of Representatives expected to resume by second week with legislative agenda involving 20-plus proposals including on anti-terrorism, Revenue Authority, Gaming, insurance, Global Forum obligations, Civil Assets Forfeiture;

regulation of private security firms, Local Government reform; Beverage Container disposal.

19th—Election of President by Parliament’s Electoral College.

Defence statements filed by UNC’s Roodal Moonilal in civil suit by Government against him and certain contractors. Historic development of senior counsels, ex-UNC Tabaquite MPs and former Attorneys General Ramesh Maharaj and

Anand Ramlogan on the same side defending contractors and Moonilal respectively.

New Police Commissioner within first quarter; following PSC recommendation from among a handful of nominees and simple majority vote in Parliament.

Law Association’s probe of the CJ’s matter, report and responses.

Education Ministry’s biggest 2018 project, completing construction of 10 schools.

Ruling PNM’s increased social media thrust. Congress of the People policy think-tanks with public. Word lagging on by-elections for Barataria and Belmont East seats following July and November deaths of PNM councillors.

FEBRUARY: Caricom Intersessional meeting in Haiti on post- 2017 hurricane devastation, Government-owned airlines’ collaboration and signing of new Multilateral Air Services Agreement.

US/UK film productions shot locally. COP forms new units. First new Municipal police (in San Fernando). Removal of illegal signs across T&T. Works’ main highways projects. Maracas facility completion. Steve Cadiz, Vasant Bharath Larry Lalla, Joe Pires and group resume meeting constituencies.

MARCH: Timeline around PM’s proposed China trip. Swearing-in of new President. Central Bank phases out one cent coin.

Regulated Industries Commission’s review expected in hand of TTEC, Wasa rate hike applications. PoS Music District launch.

APRIL: PNM MP Maxie Cuffie expected within first quarter. Mid-year review of 2018 Budget, economy, revenue stream success, property tax next phase. Transition of CNMG station to TTT. UNC youth/women’s arm elections. Petrotrin restructuring within first quarter..

MAY: PNM Leadership/executive elections between now and July.

JUNE: Two years since Colman report sent to Director of Public Prosecutions for “urgent” action. Also pending Prisongate, Ganjagate.

JULY: Caricom summit. A year since PNM’s Marlene McDonald rehired/refired, police/Integrity Commission probes pending on certain issues.

AUGUST: Parliamentary recess.

SEPTEMBER: A year since PM’s annual health check. UNC Congress within last quarter.

OCTOBER: 2019 Budget. Red House completion. A year since police probe of Mark Adams’ “coercion Textgate” allegation against AG, now before Professional Police Standards Bureau.

NOVEMBER: PNM convention in Tobago, rallying troops for 2019 Local Government, THA polls and 2020 general elections.

DECEMBER: Hope that 2018 murder rate is less than 2017’s 492.


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