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Dookeran: No delight in pullout of MSJ
Former Finance Minister Winston Dookeran is disheartened by the withdrawal of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) from the People’s Partnership, and admit the Government still faces challenges in perfecting coalition governance. Dookeran said so while speaking with reporters at the International Press Institute’s (IPI) gala fund-raising dinner and awards ceremony on Monday night at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
“I think it is unfortunate that the MSJ pulled out, and I still feel somewhat disillusioned by it. I think there are still challenges facing the partnership—deep ones. “There are challenges because you are in coalition politics and you have to face up to the challenges of today. With the MSJ withdrawal I do not feel any sense of delight at all,” he said. He said he was satisfied with the job he had done as Finance Minister.
Dookeran said he “enjoyed working there. It was a great challenge and in that sense I feel a little nostalgia. I don’t really have any regrets.” He added: “I think I’ve done my job in the Ministry of Finance. I think we have been able to put the bank sheet in order, we have stabilised the economy, we have set the economy for growth to take place; I think it will take place.”
He said everything was in place for the economy to be successful, but admitted more investment was needed, both local and foreign. Dookeran said that was slow in coming because of “complex reasons” due to process and procedures within the ministry. He said his new ministry was equally important, and expressed confidence he would make an impact there.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and I will approach it in the same way I have approached all my public duties, with a sense of dedication.” Only a few days into his new portfolio, Dookeran said he had already attended some serious meetings to discuss major issues.
He praised the efforts of former Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan, saying his predecessor had opened many doors and now it was just a matter of taking advantage of all the opportunities already created. SW
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