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COP in meeting over stay-or-leave issue
Should the Congress of the People (COP) leave or stay in the People’s Partnership Government? That was one of the main questions the party leadership was expected to discuss at a special meting last night at the Operations Centre, Chaguanas, with COP members from its Central constituencies. It was called to discuss the state of the country and the People’s Partnership.
The meeting took place amidst calls from members and non-members of the six-year-old party for it to leave the PP. Another issue expected to be raised was the decision by new Finance Minister Larry Howai to re-introduce land and building taxes legislation. COP campaigned on the “Axe the Tax” slogan in the May 24, 2010 general election. Since coming to power it had not been paid by citizens.
Last night’s meeting was the second in a series to address the issues. The first was held at the COP’s Flagship House, Port-of-Spain, earlier this month. Party sources say similar meetings are to take place across T&T. The sources also say while the members who want the COP to leave the partnership “appear to be more vocal in the media, the vast majority of members have said they wanted COP to remain in the partnership.”
COP leader, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, has publicly said the party would remain in the partnership. He said there remained a lot to be done, including the issue of constitution reform. Meanwhile, party chairman Joseph Toney met with Howai seeking clarification on the land and building taxes issue.
“We asked that there be some clarity on land and building taxes,” Toney said after the meeting. He said the COP also was seeking assurances that adequate resources would be given to the Ministry of Legal Affairs to deal with the issue of constitution reform and to the National Security Ministry to help reduce crime.
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