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Attempt made to bring back Nicole—party chairman

Published: 
Monday, November 13, 2017

Congress of the People chairman Jamieson Bahadur said yesterday attempts had been made by members of the party to bring in former chairman Nicole Dyer-Griffith without his consent.

Bahadur was speaking to the media at COP Operation’s Centre in Charlieville yesterday.

“I want to tell you as chairman of the party we got together with the National Executive and set aside a day for Nicole to be interviewed by the executive members and to present it before the National Council and decide whether we would accept her back into the party,” he said.

He said Dyer-Griffith did not attend the meeting but sent a letter through an attorney saying she did not recognise him as the bona fide chairman and refused to attend.

“She refused to come and we were going to try and talk and interview her and she refused and sent a legal letter. She didn’t come and she didn’t say. She said she did not recognise me as a bona fide chairman,” he said.

He said Dyer-Griffith would not be a candidate for the upcoming elections next week Sunday nor was she a member of the COP.

“They (members) had a meeting where I was present where we decided to bring back Nicole and others into the party. They were talking about back-dating the membership. I did not agree to that. That is why I was left out of the meeting. I told them I am not supporting that. You must be a member for six months before you can run for an office or vote. That was clear in the constitution. I was not going to stand for that,” he said.

Bahadur said the three members who met Dyer-Griffith in March resigned in August.

“I am the chairman and I was left out. I was left out of that meeting when they decided to interview Ms Dyer-Griffith and take her back into the party. She was never a member. When she resigned from the party she was supposed to send a letter to rejoin the party as well as a letter from the party she served before stating that she resigned from that party. We got nothing,” he said.

He said nominations for a political candidate was opened so members could put their hats in the ring as political leader.

“Only two people filed their nomination papers and they are the only two people vying as political candidate,” he said.

Bahadur said COP members could vote at the nearest polling station in their district.

He said the party has a membership of 40,000 people and did not see a decline in membership over the issue.

In September, Justice Ricky Rahim ruled on an application in the High Court brought that the election be postponed to a date to be fixed by the National Council pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of the COP.

He also said that all constitutionally elected officers who were elected at the last COP National Executive election shall meet on or before September 4. The election had been scheduled for July 9, but was postponed after a legal challenge was made questioning the validity of some members, including Dyer-Griffith.