Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar yesterday said he was astounded by Winston Dookeran’s endorsement of Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan for the post in the June 29 party elections.
He also hit back at critics, saying, “I am not a weak leader.”
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Ramadhar said he was “astounded” by Dookeran’s move to lend support to Seepersad-Bachan even before she officially made any announcement.
Seepersad-Bachan is expected to make an official decision today as nomination day is tomorrow.
Ramadhar said while Dookeran is entitled to support whom he wants, it is up to the COP membership to decide who leads the party forward.
Ramadhar said there was an “anti-Prakash” campaign and a handful of “separationists” are against his leadership.
Ramadhar said his track record can speak for itself as he remained committed to living up to every value and principle of the COP even when in turbulent times.
He said the persons who have been saying he is a weak leader are those who have self-serving agendas and are the ones who were against the COP entering the coalition.
“The weaknesses they speak to is really my strength in resisting them and they call it weakness because I continue to do my duty in the face of personal attacks, in the face of condemnation but strength is the ability to achieve a purpose and an objective,” said Ramadhar.
Ramadhar said he led the party to take strong positions and condemn wrongdoing as it related to former Government ministers Jack Warner, Herbert Volney and Chandresh Sharma.
He said it was he who made the calls for their resignations and removals and it was the COP who took a firm position on the Section 34 controversy.
“...I have stood in the face of the power of our partners and said that this is wrong. Let us not forget the Jack Warner issue, let us not forget the condemnation of speeches in relation to Dr Wayne Kublalsingh of our colleagues on our platform, let us not forget Section 34 condemnation, let us not forget all the issues that I have stood up to and able, in the face of all that, to align the purposes of the COP with the work of the Government, that was not an easy task,” said Ramadhar.
“If people want to call diplomacy weakness, well I don’t know what to say about the United Nations, if they want to call forbearance weakness, I don’t know what to say about our spiritual text, if they want to call wisdom weakness, then all that we have learnt as children about doing the right thing for the right purpose and the ability to sacrifice for a bigger objective well all that has gone through,” he continued.
He said people may call him weak but the facts would show that the COP was stronger under his leadership and the Government has delivered in keeping its promise to the people.
He pointed out that this week he was able to distribute 37 deeds of comfort to people and was in the process of regularising the lands in his St Augustine constituency.
Ramadhar said these achievements could not be possible if he were to listen to his detractors.
He pointed out that there were some 29 members of the COP executive and some have been “open in their agenda and unrelenting in their efforts to achieve what they want,”.
Ramadhar said he did not believe that Dookeran’s endorsement of Seepersad-Bacham would hurt his chances of being re-elected.