Last update: 04-Dec-2013 10:40 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Prakash not leaving COP...and COP not leaving PP
Prakash Ramadhar will not step down as leader of the Congress of the People (COP), and the COP won't leave the People's Partnership coalition either.
Ramadhar confirmed his commitment to his party and the party's commitment to the coalition earlier this afternoon, two days after COP suffered defeat in the local government elections.
Two hours earlier, six members of the Congress of the People (COP) yesterday called for the immediate resignations of the party’s leader Prakash Ramadhar and other members of his executive.
The COP which controlled the San Fernando City Corporation and the Diego Martin Regiobnal Corporation after the 2010 election failed to win any corporation after Monday’s election.
The six COP members who convened a news conference at the party’s Port-of-Spain office to call for Prakash Ramadhar to quit were: Kishore Ramadhar, secretary for education and research; Rudolph Hanamji, chairman of COP’s Diego Martin West constituency; Rufus Foster, chairman of the Arouca/Maloney constituency; Kirt Sinnette, field secretary field operations; and Satu Ramcharan.
Kishore Ramadhar is the brother of the COP leader, Prakash Ramadhar.
The group of six told reporters the leadership of the party must take responsibility for the failure of the COP to win any of the 14 municipal and regional corporations.
Ramcharan said the election defeat was “the last straw” as the executive “failed to prepare the party for the election,” and unless the leadership can provide a proper account for the party’s failure, it must resign.
Hanamji said a referendum should be held to determine if the COP should leave the People’s Partnership Government.
Sinnette said if Prakash Ramadhar and the other members of the leadership did not resign he would leave the party.
Foster said if Prakash Ramadhar were true to the ideals of the party he would resign.
Kishore Ramadhar said the People’s Partnership “has been detrimental to the COP.” He said it appeared that the decision to remain in the partnership was intended to benefit the COP ministers personally and not the party membership. “By staying in the partnership we have abandoned our principles,” he added.
And Ramcharan said since former San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray resigned from the COP and joined the UNC, Prakash Ramadhar should have led the party out of the partnership. She said the controversial Section 34 and $6.8 million firetruck matters were other reasons for the COP to withdraw.
She said an executive decision for the COP ministers to leave the PP Government over the Section 34 matter was subsequently overturned unilaterally.
Ramcharan said there was a cabal in the COP and that Ramadhar controlled affairs in the party in a very “heavy-handed way.”
Foster said he was questioning whether Ramadhar “is truly a COP member or an agent of the UNC.” He said while the party was built by the party’s first leader, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran, the present leader was “destroying the party.”
Foster said if Ramadhar failed to step down as leader, “It would convince me that he is an agent of the UNC
Editor's note: This is a developing story.
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