The elevation of Marlene Coudray to Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development has paved the way for the appointment of a Congress of the People (COP) mayor in San Fernando.
The move has also created two vacancies for aldermen in the San Fernando City Council, as businessman Kenny Phillip gave up the position last year.
Deputy Mayor Dr Navi Muradali, a COP member, is expected to be installed as the new mayor, as he has acted in the position on several occasions.
Muradali said yesterday: "I don't want to speculate because the COP is having a national council meeting (today) and the issue of the San Fernando mayorship will be addressed. However, the COP's position has always been that the San Fernando mayor should be a COP. It is not about personality, but about a principled decision."
Muradali said it would be premature to discuss the mayorship of San Fernando, but noted his vision for the city continued to be displayed in the work throughout his electoral district.
He has spearheaded several projects on recycling and solar lighting.
Coudray became the centre of controversy by contesting in the United National Congress (UNC) internal elections and winning the post of deputy political leader.
Her decision to leave the COP and join the UNC brought discontent not only to the People's Partnership government, of which both the COP and the UNC are a part, but also caused outrage among members of the COP.
Coudray defended her decision to switch sides but people still called for her removal as mayor which Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar stated would not happen.
Coudray had not only upset the COP, but also the council which she leads including councillors belonging to various political parties.
COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar said one of the agreements in the Fyzabad Declaration was that the San Fernando mayor would be a COP member.
Ramadhar initially accused the UNC of poaching COP members and called for the immediate removal of Coudray as San Fernando mayor.
He later said although there was a breach in the agreement, he would not allow it to hold back the work of Government.
Councillors in the Corporation yesterday expressed mixed feelings on Coudray leaving the mayorship.
Daren Mcleod, councillor for Cocoyea/Tarouba, said he was relieved Coudray would no longer be mayor.
"But I will not rejoice prematurely. I don't know who we will be getting as mayor. But I hope it is not somebody that (newly-appointed Local Government Minister Suruj Rambhachan) would force down our throat," he said.
Mcleod said the new mayor should be someone from the council, who understands the work to be done in San Fernando.
"I would like it to be Navi (Muradali) because he is someone who can understand us," he said.
Mcleod resigned from the UNC in April, claiming victimisation. He said projects in his district were being ignored and accused Coudray of making decisions without consulting committees in the council.
Councillor Gloria Calliste (Marabella West) said she would respect whoever is appointed mayor.
"God knows best. He knows why this happened and I want to tell the other councillors to respect whoever is chosen as mayor. And I hope something good comes out of this," she said.
Calliste, a COP member, had threatened to switch political parties and is a strong supporter of Coudray.
Councillor Anthony Ramkissoon (Les Effort West/La Romaine) said the appointment of Coudray as minister was a positive move. "She has many years of experience in the administration of public affairs. She is an asset to the government," he said.
Ramkissoon said he was willing to work with anyone appointed as mayor for the development of the city.