The party has now reached the crossroads, a turning point in its history. It is time for tough decisions and actions, not a time for platitudes. The rank and file members are waiting with bated breath to see what new manoeuvres will be put in place to bring back past glories to their beloved party. It is not a time for recriminations but to accept to learn the hard way.

I have no doubt that the main subject of conversation among the militants is the status of PB and will remain so until the completion of all the current proceedings. It is likely that opinion among the “militant coaltar” will be much divided. Should PB be re-elected as leader or should he step down?

At this juncture, it is good to recall that he has been the backbone of the party since 1969. He has stayed at the helm throughout that time and no one can deny that he has given sterling service to the militants during that period. Unquestionably, he has always had the best interests of the party in his quest for power, maybe it is the way he has gone about it which is questionable and controversial.

I have the impression that the enduring problem of the MMM is that nobody has ever dared to question or object openly to his modus operandi. Some might have done it in a muffled voice or in whispers and others might have been more daring or even been more vocal but in the end, it has all been in vain, they have either left the party in frustration or have been gradually eased out.

I have no doubt that the collective leadership currently in place will claim to have always given all the members of the party the latitude to decide and vote freely on any crucial issues. But at the same time, they must know deep down of the overwhelming influence PB had and may be still has on a fair proportion of the rank and file members, especially those that look at him in awe and admiration; those who venerate him like a demi-god. Obviously, whether he likes it or not, what he says carries a lot of weight and has a vital bearing on any major decision taken by the party.

D-day is fast approaching for the freshly elected members of the “Comité Central” to take stock and consider what is the appropriate decision to take in view of recent and somewhat painful events. I feel that a salutary dose of common sense is required. The members must not do things in haste and then repent at leisure. They must not throw the baby out with the bath water in that process of change. PB has still a lot to offer and should be maintained at the leader pro tem until the right man or woman can been identified and elected subsequently. The party should take all the time that is required, otherwise it might finish up “à la Moyes”, to use a football parlance.

The first hurdle of the proceedings has now been completed, with the election of 30 members to the “Comité central “and as expected PB has topped the polls. Some heavyweights have been knocked out. Others considered to be part of the inner circle have been relegated well down the list of successful candidates. Is the writing on the wall for them? Obviously, they now need to pull all the stops to obtain the elusive seat in the new configuration of the “bureau politique”.

A caveat to them and other potential contenders jockeying for position, please do not start throwing mud at each other and begin an internal war, it will be detrimental to the party. This is why PB should be retained and let the process for a new leader begin in earnest. I have no doubt that the best candidate will eventually emerge and rise to the top.

This is the ideal opportunity to consider revamping the party from top to bottom. This is also the pertinent time for a lot of soul searching, especially from those who have brought this great party to near disaster. If they really have the best interests of the party at heart, they should do their own introspection and decide whether it is time to call it a day. There is a lot of dead wood to be removed, especially those whose self interest have always been taken precedence over those of the party and those who have repeatedly fail to challenge PB when it was needed and appropriate. By their own selfishness and incompetence, they have failed PB and the party. They should face their responsibilities. I am sure that they will have recognized themselves without any additional clues.

I SAY TO THEM, FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR PARTY, GO NOW.