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.