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MSJ internal elections set for March 23

Published: 
Monday, February 24, 2014
Political leader of the Movement for Social Justice David Abdulah, front left, and general secretary Ozzi Warwick addressing a press conference at the party’s head office in San Fernando yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah yesterday declined to say whether he will be seeking re-election in the party’s internal elections on March 23. Abdulah, who announced the date for the elections at a media conference at MSJ headquarters in San Fernando, said the party will hold another media conference after Carnival to share details for the congress at which the internal elections will be held.

 

 

He said the party will be conducting a “one member, one vote” election where all executive posts will be up for grabs, including political leader. “We do not have an arrangement like some parties, where the political leader is elected separate from the executive. All positions are up for election,” he said. Asked if he will be seeking re-election, Abdulah laughed and said: “We will announce all of those who will be (contesting).” 

 

Abdulah said at the congress a “very extensive” policy document detailing the MSJ’s position on youth, education, crime and other national issues will be delivered. Yesterday, the MSJ leader rejected the recommendations of the Constitutional Reform Commission released two and a half weeks ago, saying the document was “wishy washy” and did not contain any significant recommendations. 

 

“The issue of the composition of Parliament and the Cabinet to be constituted is the major focus of this report and we want to state our complete and total rejection of this Commission’s recommendation for the composition of the Parliament and the executive,” he said. One of the recommendations is that MPs will not be made ministers and senators will be elected to the executive by the proportional representation system. Abdulah said there will be two houses of government.

 

“In effect, we would further be entrenching party control and government control of both houses and therefore will not have any proper checks and balance of the power of the executive,” he said. Abdulah also commented on the sale of First Citizens Bank shares. He expressed concern at reports that Phillip Rahaman, a senior executive at the bank, was able to buy $14 million in shares through the initial public offering (IPO).