Prakash Ramadhar, recently re-elected political leader of the Congress of the People (COP), will always have great respect for the party’s founding father, Winston Dookeran, despite his (Dookeran’s) endorsement of Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan for leader during the party’s internal election.
And he hopes the feeling is mutual.
Ramadhar, who met with the people at the Tunapuna market yesterday, told the media: “The leadership election, you know, was fraught with a lot of turmoil and with a lot of uncertainty, where one candidate had the endorsement of our founding father, which we thought was not the appropriate thing, but that is behind us now, the election is over.
“I will always honour and respect him, Dookeran, I just hope that it will be mutual,” he added. “The voters voted and I am the political leader of the Congress of the People. It is now my responsibility to assess all the weaknesses and to take steps to fix it and make this party what it is always intended to be—a movement and activist party finding out and dealing with issues that concern every Trinidadian and Tobagonian as we proceed,” he said.
Ramadhar said the negative side to Dookeran’s comment while endorsing Seepersad-Bachan—that she could not be bought—cast aspersions on the character of the two other candidates, Dr Lincoln Douglas and Rufus Foster, which was unfortunate.
“We need people who hold high esteem in the country to set the right example and, unless you have clear evidence or knowledge of something, you should not just cast aspersions on people.”
Ramadhar added that Douglas has done the honourable thing and resigned as deputy political leader, having run for the leadership position and lost, but he looks forward to continuing to work with him as a dedicated COP member.
He also noted that there are many who want the national executive elections as soon as possible, so that they can settle down and start to do the work of the party without conflict.