Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2015 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Congress of the People founder
and St Augustine MP Winston
Dookeran yesterday bowed out of
electoral politics, praising Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
but was critical of the COP, the
party he had founded.
Dookeran, 71, the Minister of For-
eign Affairs, spoke at an appreciation
function at his Tunapuna con-
stituency office several hours before
the five-year term of the tenth Par-
liament ended at midnight. He
announced he was bowing out of
politics after 34 years and would not
be seeking re-election.
He said many might have guessed
that but he wanted to acknowledge
officially it was a deliberate step.
"The curtain has come down. I
have to pass on the baton. I do so
with no animosity and little disap-
pointment but a lot of expectation
that T&T will overcome anything in
its path in the future. I know that,"
He also hoped character assassi-
nation in T&T would be stopped
and "we conduct public affairs in a
way to be proud about."
Dookeran, who said he contested
six elections, added he thought the
time had come to give way and had
started the process a few years ago.
He said his time in the field had
involved years of joy and some
He said Persad-Bissessar had per-
formed "exceptionally well in holding
T&T together. She met all the needs
of all the people, especially the less
privileged --- a major achievement
--- and maintained T&T s high image
in international work."
He added: "I think as a govern-
ment the Prime Minister has held
it together... that is a feat in itself...
in its own right.
"In terms of social stability, all
the people have benefitted, especially
the lower income, from the pro-
gramme. The international image
which in recent times I worked on
has remained very high profile. The
Prime Minister has addressed all
international forums and has
obtained tremendous applause for
the positions she has taken."
Dookeran, who said he felt
extremely safe in T&T as a politician,
added he did not think Independent
Liberal Party political leader Jack
Warner s attacks on the People s
Partnership (PP) would taint the
country s international image.
Dookeran, however, told the audi-
ence: "My greatest disappointment
is the COP. Having won 24 seats in
Local Government elections and six
in general election in the short space
since inception, it s today not able
to grow and flourish as we once
hoped but it s not the end. In the
road of politics there are ups and
downs and challenges."
He underscored that matter when
asked if he had any regrets. He told
reporters his only regret was the
party that he had wanted to rise did
not do so.
On whether he would work with
the COP, he said a new leadership
was in place and it would have to
do what was best.
"I did see at one time there was
need for me to get back involved
and had tried to but it didn t happen
so I leave it now to whoever has to,"
On whether he would serve in
some way with the PP if it won, he
said: "At this stage of my life, I value
my freedom as a citizen and as a
private person and cannot make a
commitment of a political nature
beyond what I have said here today."
He said he considered his involve-
ment in politics as being extremely
rewarding and had done whatever
he could have at every stage and
every challenge he met. He noted
his role during the 1990 attempted
coup, saying he always defended
democracy when it was at risk.
Dookeran said setting up the COP
was a defence of democracy and he
was always guided by certain fun-
He was among the ministers held
hostage at the Red House before
being released to assume the role of
deputy prime minister while the
constitutionally elected prime min-
ister ANR Robinson remained a cap-
tive in the Red House.
Dookeran said yesterday many
times "obviously people had to dis-
agree" but he was happy at this stage
knowing "fully well what I have done
for T&T at every occasion and have
discharged the function.
"Even as an economist I was
happy to serve the National Alliance
for Reconstruction (NAR) to put T&T
back on its path and I was also happy
to serve the PP to bring fiscal stability
back into play," he added.
He said building T&T was more
than winning an election and over
the years to come the fruits of the
work would be seen.
As Dookeran s function concluded
and reporters were leaving the office,
People s National Movement (PNM)
Tunapuna candidate Esmond Forde
passed the office, heading east, blow-
ing his horn.
A short way up the road also, a
car flying mini-PNM flags headed
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 18, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 17 , 2015
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran waves away members of the
media on his way to Parliament last Friday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
...Criticises party he founded
During the function Dookeran
said he considered it an honour to
have contested and thanked the
public for allowing him to do so. He
said politicians should never
abrogate the right to represent the
people unless they received the
"That was why I was so vocal in
the run-off bill since I felt every
vote must count and anyone who
wanted to represent the people
must have the right from the
people. I'm deeply honoured by the
people to have had the great
goodwill that I did." he added.
Dookeran said he always strived
to bring T&T together and at one
time had wished to contest Rio
Claro where he was born. He also
said he wanted in his time to
contest Laventille. He said he
never felt dismayed about T&T's
future but had only wanted to be
part of building it.
He noted his time with the NAR
which, he said, travelled the
dangerous road of politics and to
"some extent faltered."
He said he was called to serve
again with the COP and it had
been his honour to "interfere" in
the politics by building a party.
He said building a party could
not be done on vision alone and it
required many efforts. Dookeran's
office manager, Ramjattan Singh,
and representatives from the
Chaguanas, St Augustine and
Tunapuna seats he represented
lauded him. Musical tribute was
also paid to him via a rendition of
Frank Sinatra's My Way.
Dooks calls it a day from politics
The number drawn yesterday
on CNC3 s Crime Watch was
561672. If the number at the
back of your yesterday s T&T
Guardian was 561672 you have
won $4,000 cash.
You have until 3 pm today to
come to the T&T Guardian s head
office at Rodney Road, Endeavour,
Chaguanas, with the newspaper
containing the winning number,
and photo identification.
Read Watch Cash jackpot at $4,000
Links Archive June 17th 2015 June 19th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page