FIRST PARTY CONGRESS: MSJ leader David Abdulah, left, greets former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC during yesterday's conference at Palm's Club, San Fernando. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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MSJ to vie for Local Govt seats

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) will be taking part in next year's local government elections.

The announcement was made by MSJ's leader David Abdulah.

Yesterday the party that was formed just over two years ago hosted its first annual party congress at the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU), Palms Club in San Fernando.

In his address to the audience Abdulah said, "We in this party must from today begin to prepare ourselves for local government elections in 2013. We are not now going to say how many seats we are going to contest, but we in our communities in our regions and our districts must begin to discuss who are the persons, MSJ persons or maybe not even an MSJ person; just a good community person who can best represent those communities at the level of local government and therefore begin to create at the level of local government the future from now. Put forward your names. We need to strategise on where we will concentrate our resources in that local government campaign."

Abdulah also said the MSJ will not be getting involved in the Tobago House of Assembly elections in January.

He said the MSJ was not "as strong in Tobago," but the party will be interacting with residents of Tobago.

Abdulah said, "The MSJ is not going to go to Tobago to tell Tobagonians what to do and what they ought not to do. We have confidence in Tobagonian sisters and brothers to decide what is best for Tobago. As MSJ and as a party we are not going to be playing any explicit role in the elections of the THA in January. That is not to say we would not be engaging in conversation and dialogue with patriotic Tobagonians about the way forward for Tobago. Rest assured, after January elections of the THA, the issue of Tobago will remain unresolved."

Abdulah said he had no regrets of the MSJ leaving the People's Partnership Government earlier this year and even though there were "very challenging moments in the life of our young party," the party will be one of the largest in the country.

He invited "disenchanted supporters" of other parties to join the MSJ because he said it was a party with a difference committed to social justice for all and there will be no nepotism with the awarding of contracts and state board positions of which he said the People's Partnership was guilty.

Attending the congress was Cuban Ambassador Humberto Rivero Rosario, members of the Highway Re-Route Movement and other groups for specific causes.

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