Reigns of coalition government firmly in his hands; in eight seat coalition one man is king!
Spectre of return of Patrick Illidge lurks in background
Political pundits have remarked on the irony of Laville's preeminent position in the political landscape. In this coalition government, with a razor thin majority of one seat in Parliament, all roads run through Laville. He can single handedly dictate policy is he so wishes. Everyone's position in the current council of ministers depends on Laville's good graces. One deft move can bring the whole house of cards crashing down. It is now left to be seen how Laville will play the hand he has been dealt. We know that he is mercurial and volatile. He will now have to demonstrate shrewdness as well. Observers believe that the UPP leader, who has a well- earned reputation of being a Mr. Moneybags, will allegedly do anything and pay any price to be a player. This plays nicely into the hands of Laville, who will find a ready buyer for his allegiance. He will have to make hay while the sun shines, as this might be his last go round. His shilly shallying has angered the electorate. He has become practically a persona non grata among voters. He is widely despised because of his unsteady behavior in office. He therefore has every incentive to make the most of what many believe are his final days holding political office. Many believe he has committed political hari-kiri. His two coalition partners must therefore prepare themselves to pay some hefty prices for his support. He is well placed to retire a wealthy man, if only he plays he cards right. Parliament has to meet and make some important appointments. The president of Parliament is one such post, and one can sense a certain nervous hesitancy on the part of the coalition MP's. The question on everyone's mind is this: Will Laville go along with their choice, or will he propose his own alternative candidate to be the chairperson of Parliament?
Patrick Illidge: The spare tire
All of this has made Patrick Illidge an attractive security blanket. Though he might be toxic right now, the one seat he dangles is not. There are already reports of contacts between him and the UPP leader. Bringing him on board can be excellent insurance in case Laville again jumps ship. The danger however exists that he and Laville, who are both political pariahs, might team up and blackmail their coalition partners. No one doubts that Patrick is shrewd and will drive a hard bargain. He too has every incentive to go for broke. The Bada Bing scandal might have spelled the end of his political career. That leaves only money as his main motive for the remainder of this electoral cycle. Demanding a minister's seat for his support is not unthinkable. The return of Duncan as Minister of Justice is well within the realm of possibilities in this scenario. Duncan has already stated that he is for hire if the price is right, and a minister's salary and emollients seemed to have fit the bill perfectly for the past seven years. In the meantime the UPP and the DP will just have to bide their time and do Laville's bidding or else pay the piper.
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