The Congress of the People (COP) yesterday condemned the United National Congress (UNC) for "recruiting" former COP member Marlene Coudray to fight for a position on the UNC's executive.
COP's chairman Joseph Toney said yesterday Coudray had been "poached" in a "sinister" move that could cause the partnership to be eroded.
Deputy Mayor of San Fernando, and COP member Dr Navi Muradali yesterday described Coudray, a COP general election candidate in 2007, as "a political grasshopper". Coudray is the wife of former PNM MP for Pt Fortin Larry Achong
On Sunday, Coudray showed up at UNC headquarters— Rienzi Complex, Couva, accompanied by Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal and filed nomination papers to contest the post of Deputy Political Leader of the UNC, at next Saturday's internal elections.
In a press release issued yesterday, Toney stated the COP expected "the UNC operatives" to be more civil in the recruitment of her.
"While we respect the right for anyone to join and support the political party of their choice, the COP views the poaching of its members as contrary to the principles of the Fyzabad declaration. The Congress of the People wishes to state that it will not condone such sinister behaviour and strongly condemns the action of poaching by any unit of the People's Partnership. Actions like these will have the effect of creating mistrust among the partners of the People's Partnership and seriously erode the strength of the coalition".
Toney stated Coudray's issue "can irreversibly damage the overwhelming trust the electorate gave us in May 2010 general election".
The COP wished Coudray well and hoped "she finds peace and comfort in her new political home".
Muradali told the Express, "In politics people are free to come and go as they please I consider her move as a political grasshopper because (Coudray) has her origins in the PNM and jumped over and rode the back of the COP to get into the local government as the mayor. And I am not too sure if she will be riding the back of the UNC. Maybe (as a general election candidate) for San Fernando West in the future".
Muradali said of Coudray: "She obviously has high political ambitions and I wish her all the best."