Last update: 06-Dec-2013 9:53 pm
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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After several postponements COP, UNC meet tonight on local govt elections
The meeting between the Congress of the People (COP) and the United National Congress (UNC) to discuss local government representation has been postponed to tonight. Political leader of the Congress of the People Prakash Ramadhar said many people had expressed the view that the postponement of the meeting was a delaying tactic by the UNC but he hoped it was not so. Ramadhar was speaking yesterday to reporters at a news conference held at the COP’s Operations Centre, Caroni Savannah Road, Charlieville, Chaguanas. His comments come as the party has been talking about the meeting for eight weeks.
According to COP chairman, Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, the UNC was prepared to meet tonight after the presentation of the 2013/2014 budget presentation. “Unfortunately, we received a text message yesterday, an hour before we were due to start (at 1.30 pm on Saturday) the negotiations, that the UNC was unable to attend or come to the negotiations and they asked for a further postponement, tomorrow night after the budget,” she said. She said the party had an issue with continuous postponement. “We are not going to allow that (the postponement) to deter us,” Seepersad-Bachan said.
“The longer we postpone and we delay—we have already said we are going after seven corporations, we are preparing, we have already made decisions, the longer we take (to meet) we would make more decisions,” she said. Justifying the reason for making the decision to go ahead without the UNC, she said that in the 2010 negotiations to select members of Parliament, some COP members had said “those negotiations were too protracted, they were delayed and we did not have opportunity to really seek the best interest of the Congress of the People.” She said Saturday’s meeting was postponed because of Friday’s late sitting of the Parliament.
What the COP wants
Seepersad-Bachan listed the areas which the COP would be interested in contesting the local government elections. She said: “In the case of Diego Martin, we are moving forward not for just the councillor positions, with all the alderman positions in Diego Martin. Arima similarly, it will be all councillor positions and all alderman positions. “In San Fernando, however, we will be moving forward to fight all the seats in San Fernando. We intend to announce a possibility of discussion with the UNC about the alderman list. The Port-of-Spain City Corporation we are fighting it as COP only but we are prepared to negotiate with the UNC come tomorrow evening. “Tunapuna/Piarco Corporation, the COP has taken a decision, we are moving forward as COP only in the Tunapuna Regional Corporation. However, we are prepared to nominate aldermen from the UNC. The other two corporations—Princes Town and San Fernando—we are prepared to negotiate with the UNC.”
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