IT'S more or less a done deal. Congress of the People (COP) member Dr Navi Muradali is soon expected to take the oath of office as Mayor of the City of San Fernando.
Muradali, the Councillor for Les Effort East/Cipero, replaces alderman Marlene Coudray who has been appointed Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday.
COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar told members of the media yesterday that the party is supportive of Muradali's imminent appointment.
"My understanding, unless otherwise advised, is that the law now provides for automatic elevation of the deputy mayor (Muradali) to the position of Mayor there being only one year before (a Local Government) election," Ramadhar said.
"We know the capacity for work that Dr Muradali has, his commitment to the people and what he has already done in San Fernando. We are quite excited about the work that he will continue to do. (We believe that) the work of the Council in San Fernando will be continued with an enhanced sense of enthusiasm."
Ramadhar was speaking at a press conference following the COP's National Council meeting at the party's Operations Centre at Caroni Savannah Road in Chaguanas.
Muradali, who has had quite a contentious working relationship with Coudray within recent times, said the past is now "water under the bridge".
"I will continue to work with everyone in the San Fernando City Council," he said.
"The work must continue in the City of San Fernando. The first order of business would really be to ensure that there is unity among all the Councillors because the only way we can move forward is if we bring that unity within the Council.
"We must continue to listen to our burgesses. They have a lot of concerns about what has to be done. There is a lot to be done and we must complete this before the next Local Government election."