COP 'understands' MSJ pullout
Prakash regrets party's decision to go it alone
The Congress of the People (COP) said yesterday it regretted but understood the decision taken by the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) to withdraw itself from the People's Partnership.
"We share some of the sentiments as regards its political leader David Abdulah's decision to resign as a Government Senator," a press release signed by COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar stated.
Following is the text of Ramadhar's statement:
"The Congress of the People regrets but understands the decision taken by the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) to withdraw itself from the People's Partnership. We share some of the sentiments as regards its political leader, David Abdulah's, decision to resign as a Government Senator.
"The People's Partnership was a coalition formed with an agreement on objectives and the intent to develop shared principles and values. This coalition was not merely to defeat the PNM. It offered to the population a vehicle for good governance, although not well defined outside of some very broad parameters. Towards this end, the COP when it signed the Fyzabad declaration, did so with a solemn pledge to all the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
The party has on numerous occasions reiterated that we not only stand by the coalition agreement but will champion the cause to deepen it. At the second anniversary activity as political leader I repeated the COP's call for structuring the coalition.
"We are heartened by some of the progress made such as: Constitution Reform (which is headed by the COP political leader) to include referenda, fixed election dates, fixed terms, establishing the relationship between Tobago and Trinidad on the basis of a free and equal union between the two nations and among other things.
"Indeed, only last week procurement policy was tabled in Parliament to guide the drafting of procurement legislation. We also note the tremendous work being done by the Ministry of Public Administration to reform the public sector.
"All this has happened within two years of a five-year term and simultaneous with the day-to-day governance. We accept that, to date, the process has been slower than anticipated but the COP looks forward to the next three years as we attempt to build on the foundation that has been laid and to accelerate the pace of the work that has already started.
"The COP bases its outlook not on the interests of the party itself or its members, but on the vital interests of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
"The withdrawal of the MSJ is regrettable, particularly in light of the failure to deepen the coalition, especially as regards a shared political programme to 2015.
"The public perception of a UNC-dominated PP must be and is being addressed. The COP remains firm in its commitment to achieving the objectives of the People's Partnership and will continue to fight for strengthening our country's democracy.
"We hope that these matters will engage the remaining four partners as a matter of urgency."