The Congress of the People (COP) has got its way in the negotiations for the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation.
At their final meeting on Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel, to discuss the allocation of corporations for the October 21 local government elections, all parties emerged smiling as a consensus was reached.
The COP and United National Congress (UNC) were at loggerheads over the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation and which party should lead the fight for this corporation in the election.
In 2010, the corporation was successfully contested under a UNC ticket and Khadijah Ameen was elevated to the post of chairman of the corporation.
COP chairman Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, following the meeting which lasted close to three hours, told the media negotiations were brought to a close and a consensus was reached.
The COP, she said, will contest the following five regional corporations: Tunapuna, Diego Martin, San Fernando, Arima and Port of Spain.
She said the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) will contest the Point Fortin corporation.
The UNC, she said, will contest the following eight corporations- Mayaro/Rio Claro, Princes Town, Couva Talparo, Sangre Grande, Penal/Debe, Siparia, Chaguanas and San Juan/Laventille.
The COP is finalising its list of proposed aldermen which will now be selected under the new proportional representation system.
UNC deputy leader Dr Roodal Moonilal said there will be a People’s Partnership launch of local government candidates at Harris Promenade, San Fernando on Monday. He said candidates from the UNC, COP and NJAC will be presented to the people on one united platform.
Asked about the UNC giving way to the COP to lead the local government fight in Tunapuna, Moonilal said the UNC reached a point where it could come to a consensus.
He said the agreement reached will be taken back to the respective parties’ executive and political leaders.
Moonilal said it was agreed that while the COP will lead in Tunapuna, the UNC will field some candidates in that corporation for various districts.
He said in the San Juan/Laventille corporation there will also be a shared approach with the NJAC who will field some candidates in various districts.
He added that in Point Fortin, although the NJAC will be leading the charge, the UNC will field candidates in that corporation.
“The negotiations were very tough, at times heated maybe, but at the end of the day members from the COP, NJAC, and UNC had one thing in mind, to arrive at a consensus and build the Partnership. We were very clear that we will go into an election with the Partnership notwithstanding the tough negotiations,” said Moonilal.
He extended congratulations to all parties in the manner in which they were able to arrive at a consensus.
COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar, was not party of the meeting as he was acting as Prime Minister.
However, he was at the Hyatt having dinner with his wife Jayanti and daughter.
In response to questions from the media on the agreement with respect to Tunapuna, Ramadhar said the Tunapuna corporation was “critically important” to the COP.
He pointed out that the constituency seats of Tunapuna, St Augustine and D’Abadie/O’Meara all fall within the embrace of the corporation.
The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) will be presenting its local government candidates at Endeavour Lands, Chaguanas on Sunday.
On the same day, the People’s National Movement (PNM) will be presenting its candidates at Woodford Square, Port of Spain.