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Suruj advises San Fernando mayor to turn a new page
Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan has cautioned newly installed Mayor of San Fernando Dr Navi Muradali, not to be blinded by the status and glamour that the office may bring. Reflecting on the numerous conflicts in the council, he also urged the mayor to turn a new page. Addressing Muradali, councillors and members of the public in the chamber of the San Fernando City Corporation where the mayor took the oath of office last Friday, Rambachan warned that the population was becoming tired of status-seekers, the perceived abuse of political power and lame excuses. He said the citizenry was demanding a better delivery of service. Rambachan also delved into the disharmony between the present and immediate past mayor, Marlene Coudray, and a few council members, and advised them to turn a new page. Coudray was not among the former mayors present for the ceremony, having received her invitation shortly after 9 pm on Thursday, one source said.
Muradali said he knew the administrative arm of the corporation would have invited all past mayors, and was not aware of the time she received hers. “Conflict has hurt the image of the Municipality of the City of San Fernando over the last couple of months,” Rambachan said, “and it is now necessary for Dr Muradali and the team of councillors to turn a new page and rebuild the confidence of the people of San Fernando and, by extension, the national community with the political arm of the corporation.” He said change was necessary if San Fernando were to progress. “This position as mayor, one which I walked for six years, is accompanied by a measure of status and to some extent, in the definition of others, glamour. Let me hasten to say, we are living in a time when the population is becoming weary of status, weary of position, weary of political power. “They are becoming weary of excuses; they are becoming weary of blaming others for today’s problems and today’s inefficiencies and shortcomings and, in that regard, the position demands and requires a greater responsibility than perhaps one would have imagined upon assumption of this position,” Rambachan declared.
Before an audience which included Congress of the People leader Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Minister in the Ministry of Local Government Rudy Indarsingh, Rambachan reminded Muradali he is duty-bound to honour his pledge to be of service to the people. Ramadhar, in congratulating Muradali, a founding member of the COP, attributed a large part of the success of his party to his “innovation and modern thinking.” He described Muradali as a “team leader, team builder who follows those he leads, listens, sets the right example and brings peace wherever he goes.” Another senior COP member, Seepersad-Bachan, who also had a contentious relationship with the former mayor, pledged to work with Muradali and walk with him on his meet-the-people tour. She is the MP for San Fernando West.
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