Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramadhar on COP cabal: Resignation not an option
Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash Ramadhar will not resign just to please what he described as a possible “cabal” within his party. He also admitted the party’s continued alignment to the United National Congress (UNC) had contributed to the loss at the polls. “As we campaigned, a lot of the ground, a lot of the errors of our partners affected us,” he said. Ramadhar said to “say differently would not be honest.”
He also reiterated his commitment to the coalition Government, even at the risk of exacerbating a rift within the COP. “Resignation is not an option for me at this point in time,” he said yesterday. Ramadhar challenged those who were against his leadership to throw their hats in the ring at the next round of internal elections. He said the internal friction was damaging the party.
Speaking at the Curepe campaign base, St Augustine, for candidate Anita Seeram yesterday, Ramadhar said those calling for his removal had never worked toward building the country. His statement came just two hours after a rebel group, including his brother Kishore Ramadhar, called for the entire executive to be removed after the party’s wipe-out at Monday’s local government elections. Ramadhar claimed he did not know of the meeting but said he was not surprised by who made the call.
He said: “Those are the usual suspects who have been at the insistence of, first of all, not coming into partnership. They were insisting since then that we left the partnership. “That group has been together for some time, talking with one voice but not working with one effort toward building the party but always about breaking it. “I have entertained all sort of thoughts, what is best for T&T, what is best for my party.”
On the prospect of resigning, he said: “I will consider it but I do not see that at this time. I am speaking to many others about what is the best course for the party, for our country.” Ramadhar admitted he was in a difficult position, caught between his party’s internal politics and the commitment to the coalition. “The challenge is that balance because many have said that the UNC has basically taken over the COP which is not true,” he said.
He maintained that the COP was an independent party within the coalition, saying it was impossible to effect change from outside the government. He pointed at the Movement for Social Justice as proof. Ramadhar also recalled that whenever that group called for the COP to leave the party, the national council always voted unanimously for it to stay. “They have been internally attempting to destroy the COP, for whatever reason. You might appreciate that one of them is the son of a candidate who went up for leadership.” he said.
“But,” he added, “they are entitled to their views.” He said anyone who accused him of being power-hungry was “totally insane”. “I am anything but. We have given of ourselves selflessly. What power are we talking about? “If it is then that I am power-hungry, well, why are we in partnership? I could have done like others and gone out and march and make noises,” he added. He said the existence of the COP within the coalition would only be in jeopardy if there was no change within the partnership.
“It’s all about the work and there are very few people that are about that,” he added.
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