The ideological debate remains.
Should there be national health and education systems that would protect the less fortunate in society?
San Fernando mayor, Marlene Coudray who joined the People’s Partnership on a COP ticket, has filed nominations to contest the post of deputy political leader of the UNC. Leader of Government Business, Dr Roodal Moonilal, assured reporters yesterday that Coudray is now a member of the UNC and has fulfilled all the requirements to contest the elections.
Coudray, who was accompanied by Moonilal and Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan, filed her nomination papers at the Rienzi Complex, Couva, yesterday. Nominations for the March 24 internal elections closed yesterday afternoon. In a brief interview, Coudray said she joined the UNC more than a year ago and is committed to doing what was best for the party. “I filed nomination papers today. Everything is in order,” she declared.
Asked why she decided to contest the post, Coudray said: “When I was asked to do this, I thought about it very hard. I am an ardent supporter of the Prime Minister. I said in whatever way I can help, I am willing to give support and that was why I decided to contest. She added: “The UNC is the party that I want to settle down with.”
Asked whether she had consulted political leader of the Congress of the People (COP) Prakash Ramadhar, Coudray responded: “Do I have to? I am a big woman. In due course I will let him know.” She also said that since she assumed her mayorship, she has not been dealing with the COP. Asked why, she said “for personal reasons” and declined to elaborate. Coudray said she did not want to engage in any bad talk or to “condemn any bridge which I have already crossed.”
“I think the party needs all the support of its members and now is the appropriate time. I think the party needs all the assistance it can to build a good team to do the party work.” Speaking to reporters at Rienzi yesterday, Moonilal said he was happy that Coudray had filed to contest under his slate. “We are extremely honoured and pleased and I want to congratulate Ms Coudray for taking this very brave step to join us, not only the party, but also the executive and the future executive.
“She is duly nominated the deputy political leader. Ms Coudray has satisfied all the requirements of the party. As you know the party has very stringent requirements to be nominated based on membership and she has satisfied all the requirements.” Over the years, Coudray has had a few political affiliations. She is the long-time companion of former People’s National Movement (PNM) Point Fortin MP Larry Achong and was an unsuccessful COP general election candidate before being nominated as an alderman and mayor of San Fernando.
Prior to becoming mayor, she served as chief executive officer of the San Fernando City Corporation.
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