top spot: Newly-appointed senators, from left, Larry Howai, Marlene Coudray and Ganga Singh, stand alongside Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, second from left, during yesterday's sitting of the Upper House, Tower D, Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. –Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

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Coudray resigns as mayor of San Fernando

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Newly-appointed Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Marlene Coudray has resigned her position as mayor of San Fernando.

Coudray submitted her resignation to San Fernando City Corporation chief executive officer, Deodath Ragoobar.

Her resignation was effective Sunday – the day before she was sworn in as minister.

Coudray's appointment as a Government minister was disclosed by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in her Cabinet reshuffle announcement last Friday night.

Coudray received her instruments of appointment by President George Maxwell Richards at Knowsley Building, Port of Spain, yesterday.

Coudray on Saturday attended the funeral service in San Fernando of her daughter Michelle Coudray-Greaves who was murdered and her body burnt shortly after she went to Jamaica last month to take up a teaching position.

The killing is unsolved.

Marlene Coudray was sworn in as Mayor of San Fernando, following a landslide victory by the People's Partnership in the 2010 Local Government elections.

She was the fourth female mayor of San Fernando.

Coudray was also chief executive officer of the San Fernando City Corporation, under five mayors.

But controversy surrounding Coudray's position as mayor ignited last month when she contested and won the post of deputy political leader in the United National Congress (UNC) internal elections.

Her decision to leave the Congress of the People (COP) and join the UNC brought discontent amongst members of the COP.

COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar called for the immediate removal of Coudray as San Fernando mayor. He argued that the Fyzabad Declaration stated that the San Fernando mayor would be a member of the COP.

Dr Navi Muradali, deputy mayor and a COP member, would automatically become San Fernando mayor following Coudray's departure.

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