The seven former politicians who openly declared their support for the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) on Wednesday, made a “powerful” but “unexpected” move, according to analysts Dr Winford James and Bishnu Ragoonath.
The PNM has since called the stance taken by the veterans, “deceitful and outlandish”.
Speaking to Guardian Media on Thursday, Dr James noted the veterans were from the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), Democratic Action Congress and Tobago Organization of the People (TOP) era.
“Basically, these persons have always been opposed to the PNM…but the fact that they came out is a powerful gesture. It is a gesture, in support of Watson Duke that is aimed at people who are still the residues of (ANR) Robinson’s politics.”
The veteran group was comprised of Dr Jeff Davidson, George Stanley Beard, Carlyle Dick, Cecile Caruth, Regis Caruth, Max James, and former parliamentarian Pamela Nicholson.
Of the group, only Max James openly supported the PNM over the years.
Asked if the veterans’ stance could influence the electorate, James said, “It might”.
“It could very well win over lots of people who are tired of the PNM. It can also win back people who supported the PNM in 2015.”
Asked how successful the move will be in affecting the outcome of the elections, James said, in the absence of a scientific poll, it is difficult to tell.
Ragoonath shared similar sentiments.
He told Guardian Media the stance taken by the veterans, is “not unexpected”.
“Those (veterans) were part of parties that kept the PNM out of office. However, their move was unexpected in the context that as veteran politicians, they would come out to make a case, but it’s not unexpected that they will be anti-PNM.”
As to whether the seven veterans will affect the outcome of the general election, he said he could not tell if they still had “political leverage” with the population.
Meanwhile, the PNM has slammed the former politicians for their stance.
Calling members of the group “failed politicians,” the PNM said the group called themselves non-aligned but “support the PDP” and “praise the UNC (United National Congress)”.