Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2015 Contents RENUKA SINGH
Chairman of the Congress of the People
(COP), Nicole Dyer-Griffith, has resigned
from the party. She said the COP is being
sidelined by the main partner in the coalition
People s Partnership, the United National
"Yes I have resigned as chairman and as
a member of the Congress of the People,"
Dyer-Griffith told reporters as she and a group
of people walked out of the party s National
Coouncil meeting in Charlieville yesterday
She said following her resignation, at least
40 to 50 other COP members "also left the
room, some of them resigning immediately
and I am not sure what would have transpired
In her letter of resignation, Dyer-Griffith
condemned COP political leader Prakash
Ramadhar for not standing up against the
coalition partners in support of the minority
She said chief among her reasons for quit-
ting was the treatment meted out to party
members, including former Senate President
Timothy Hamel-Smith who was removed
without notice during the February 4 Cabinet
reshuffle that saw former attorney general
Anand Ramlogan, as well as her husband,
former National security Minister Gary Grif-
fith, removed from office. She claimed
Ramadhar, despite being Hamel-Smith s polit-
ical leader, was left out of discussions about
"I take umbrage for the perceived lack of
discussion with you as the political leader of
a party residing in the Partnership by the
leaders of the Partnership, before major deci-
sions are taken. Such was the case with the
most recent removal of Mr. Hamel Smith.
This is not the first instance of this non dis-
Dyer-Griffith said over the years, the COP
and its activists have felt "somewhat mar-
ginalized" by the UNC.
"We have endured the hue and cry over
the years, with many of us growing weary of
the constant struggle to empower members,
supporters, activists and members of the gen-
eral population on matters of equity."
"One partner remained more equal than
the others," she said.
When Dyer-Griffith s husband was
removed from Cabinet earlier this month,
Ramadhar described her reaction as "emo-
tional". In her resignation letter, Dyer-Griffith
said: "The matters relating to the recent issue
of the removal of Mr. Gary Griffith has raised
the ire of many. I thread carefully, as I would
not wish to be labelled as emotional once
"However, for the political leader to have
agreed wholeheartedly, via both his pro-
nouncement and via a media statement by
the National Executive in support of his state-
ment, begs the question of the rationale, not
only for supporting same, but also the rationale
for refusing to make a similar call for the
stepping aside of any other ministers currently
being investigated in the said matter," she
After sending in her resignation to Ramad-
har yesterday, Dyer-Griffith posted one word
on her Facebook page: "Exhale."
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Monday, February 23, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Reacting to the resignation of Congress of the
People (COP) chairman Nicole Dyer-Griffith, Com-
munications Minister Vasant Bharath said the
commitment of the party to the People s Part-
nership (PP) is what matters.
Bharath said he has not been formally informed
of Dyer-Griffith s departure from the party, noting
it was an internal matter for the COP.
"It will, I presume, become a national issue at
some point in time. As I said, I have not had the
full details of it to be in a position to adequately
Asked whether he thought the resignation would
affect the party, Bharath said: "I don t know at this
point in time, my guess is that it won t. I don t
know the extent or how many people would have
walked out with Mrs Dyer-Griffith and the influence
they may have held within the organisation.
|The leader of the COP is on record as stating
that the COP remains firmly within the partnership
and in support of the Government, and I think that
is what is important at this point in time."
to PP matters
In a brief telephone interview yesterday,
Hamel-Smith said he had not been
involved in COP political business for the
past five years and did not see himself re-
entering that fold.
"I know nothing of her resignation other
than what I have read in the newspapers,"
He said while he has seen Dyer-Griffith
"on occasion", they have not had discus-
sions about her future with the COP.
When asked whether he was surprised
by her move, Hamel-Smith said: "I saw
it as likely."
He said he did not have a grasp of the
party and as such could not detail the
ramifications of her resignation on the
future of the COP.
For the time being, he said, he remained
a non-resigned member of the party but
not an active one.
ILP leader Jack Warner yesterday lauded
both Griffiths for their strong stance in
the political environment and described
Dyer-Griffith s move as "unprecedented".
"The country is fortunate to have people
like the Griffiths to look up to," he said.
Warner called on right thinking people
to support Dyer-Griffith and leave the
"Leave Ramadhar standing alone and
let the country see his true clothes," he
said. See Page A5
OF COP POLITICS
for 20TH FERBUARY, 2015
Saying it s time to change the game,
former COP chairman Nicole Dyer
Griffith yesterday hinted that she ll
be speaking to like-minded independ-
ent people who aren t interested in
certain options on the political land-
She s did not say whether this
excludes the ILP or PNM.
After she and others left the party s
National Council yesterday morning,
some members hinted that they might
be linking with Jack Warner s ILP or
others opposed to the PP.
Dyer Griffith said she would take a
break and examine her next step since
her options are open.
She said there was a wide pool of
independent people who were not one
thing or the next and she was certain
some of them would be interested in
having similar conversations. She said
there would be independent people not
interested in A or B.
Dyer-Griffith would not say whether
that excluded the ILP or PNM, but said:
"For too long there hasn t been inclu-
sion, it s time to change the game."
COP Diego Martin central field offi-
cer John Rignaud, who also resigned
yesterday said he would wait on Dyer-
Griffith to discuss what they intended
to do but if they were going to ILP, he
had to think about that.
Rignaud said linking with ILP is "far
from my thoughts." (Gail Alexander)
Nicole: UNC treats
weighs options Pierrot Grenade (Felix Edinborough) gives a
spelling lesson at the opening of Talk Tent at
Queen's Hall, St Ann's. PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD
PIERROT AT TALK TENT
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