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Prakash to fight COP leadership

...gearing up for 2015 election independent of Partnership

By By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

Embattled political leader of the Congress of the People (COP) Prakash Ramadhar yesterday announced his intention to contest the number one position in the party for a second term.

The elections for political leader will be held on June 29.

Nomination day is June 6.

Speaking at the COP’s Flagship House on Broome Street, Woodbrook, where he was accompanied by his wife, Jyanti; daughter, Urvi; and a group of supporters, Ramadhar said yesterday he

was once again offering himself to represent the par­ty as its leader because he 

be­lieved he must bear the sac­rifices of his parents for the sake of the next genera­tion.“And it is because of that and no other reason, I will announce today that I in­tend to be a candidate for lea­d­ership in the COP,” he said.

He admitted he could have done much better as a leader over the past three years if he had the co-ope­ra­tion of everyone within the party but said the party dis­tracted itself over time on issues that it never should have.

Asked about the call from various quarters within the party for COP founder and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran to return

as leader of the party, Ram­adhar said he welcomed all interested in the leadership and he was looking forward to a heated campaign be­cause it was in that way, the truth would come out.

Ramadhar, who met with Dookeran recently, declined to say what the two discussed but said: “We have a very healthy working relationship and I will always cherish him as one of the founding fathers of the COP.” 

Asked about the party’s commitment to the People’s Partnership Government, Ra­madhar said the Partnership has never been perfect but they are still working toge­ther and getting things done, so leaving the coalition has

never been an option al­though there are a few who

have called for it and conti­n­ue to call for such a move. 

He said the party will enter

the general election in 2015 as the COP and not under a People’s Partnership um­brella because, “My view is that the COP will always be independent. Because the moment you are no longer independent, then what is the value of having a party? 

“The COP stands in its own space and all those who

say we are parallel to the UNC, we are parallel in so far

as what is best for the coun­try. Although we may not always agree, we will always work together.

“The issue of give and take comes in but what is most

important is there is no alter­native at this point in time.”

He said, “the political space” must be cleansed.

“No secrets and only those

who have lived well honou­rably and decently should enter the political arena,” he added.

 
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