Dr Winford James

Political analyst Dr Winford James says Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s racially-tinged attack against Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will undoubtedly have repercussions during the General Election campaign.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, James said he had viewed Persad-Bissessar’s speech and heard, “Black man on the other side.”

“I don’t know about the blank part of it, the video I listened to, says black,” he said in a phone interview.

Saying that inferences still have to be made as to who the “black man might be”, James said there are logical suspicions who “he” might be, given that politicians tend to speak in code.

“Is she being racist? That’s the question that arises when she said “the black man’,” James said.

Asked if he felt whether the word said was black or blank would have an impact on the upcoming election, James said all things have impacts.

“In this volatile season where things are very fluid, right, where people either confirm their attitudes towards political leaders or they get greater clarity in who they should support, all factors will have to be considered,” he said.

He said one of the possible reactions to what Persad-Bissessar said could be a loss of support.

However, he said this was unlikely to affect the United National Congress’ core voters, who may be hardened and reinforced in their desire to defend her.

“If she, as she must do, hopes to win over people, not part of her core, then she’s likely to have lost them and alienated them more than they are already alienated. I’m talking about people who vote the PNM, and who she needs to win over,” he said.