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Ex-chairman resigns over reform bill

Published: 
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Former chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) Dave Persad yesterday tendered his resignation as a member of the United National Congress (UNC) over the controversial Constitutional (Amendment) Bill. Persad said the bill was just one of several issues he has had to grapple with over the last three years which “contributed significantly to my decision not to seek re-election as chairman.” He said the bill was “the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back.” 

Persad said in a statement yesterday that the bill was an “undemocratic process” that cannot yield a democratic result. He said that at no time the runoff issue came up in the constitutional reform consultations. “No member of the Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC) can say otherwise.” He added: “Having been paid handsomely by the taxpayers of this country, they must raise their voices or be condemned and run the risk of their entire report losing it’s integrity and being deemed a massive and expensive hoax on the population.”

Persad said he agreed with Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran who insisted that the bill goes against all his lifelong political beliefs “and when something is so fundamental that goes to the heart of one’s belief and bellies from within your very own organisation, one must respond with equal fervor.” 

Persad said as for those who parade as flag-bearers of the gospel of new politics “it continues to remain elusive as to when fundamental becomes so fundamental as to warrant decisive action to meet their utterly idle and empty boast. Perhaps, the most fundamental thing for them is the supreme desire to hold on to office and power, temporary as it might be, at any cost.”