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Dookeran backs Carolyn to lead COP

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
COP chairman Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan

Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan should be leader of the Congress of the People, says former party leader Winston Dookeran.
Responding to calls for him to return to lead the party, Dookeran has issued a press release this morning instead nominating Seepersad-Bachan, in what can only be seen as a severe blow to current leader Prakash Ramadhar.
Dookeran has also said he would be prepared to run as party chairman later this year—the post currently held by Seepersad-Bachan.
Dookeran is the COP MP for Tunapuna and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The full text of his statement reads:
”There has [sic] been growing calls from the membership, and I expect some of the national community, for the COP to return to its original promise when it was formed. There also have been appeals by some of the membership for my return as political leader to lead the rebuilding of the party. This is a matter I have given much thought to and concluded that recycling leaders is not the answer.
”I am of the view that rebuilding of the identity of the COP must come from those younger members who both understand and are committed to the principles and values of the COP.  In my opinion, we should look to encourage prospects with demonstrated quality of leadership who can serve in the best interests of the nation first and the party second. Politics should be about nation-building which requires resilient political parties that can endure over time.  
”We should be looking to persons such as Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan who has an impressive track record as an exemplar of the COP. Ms Seepersad-Bachan coordinated the creation of the COP manifesto of 2007 chaired by myself and the late Roy Boyke. She chaired the revision of the 2010 manifesto with input from NJAC's Aiyegoro Ome, Timothy Hamel-Smith and others.
”The membership of the COP and the wider national community continue to express the desire for greater values-based leadership in our nation’s governance. I am of the firm belief that with a return of the COP to its tenets of principled leadership and accountability, it can offer a credible option in the political landscape of T&T. Ms Seepersad-Bachan’s impressive track record as a genuine COP member makes her a most suitable candidate to lead the rebuilding process.
”In respectful consideration of the sentiments of the membership, I am prepared to offer myself as a candidate for chairman of the party in the national executive elections due later this year and serve in a guiding role towards delivering the kind of leadership in the best interest and benefit to all.”