Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2015 Contents A9
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The Congress of the People (COP)
has identified four candidates to contest
seats in the upcoming general election
on September 7 and will soon be going
to the bargaining table with its coalition
partner, the United National Congress,
to determine which additional seats it
In a press conference yesterday at the
party s Flagship House, St Clair, COP
political leader, Prakash Ramadhar
announced that Arts and Multicultur-
alism Minister Lincoln Douglas, Diversity
Minister Rodger Samuel and Ramadhar
COP picks four candidates
Ramadhar to contest St Augustine seat
Sod turned for La Fillette Primary after two years
After some two years, the sod-turning ceremony
finally took place for the La Fillette RC Primary
Speaking after the ceremony yesterday Education
Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said the Catholic Board
encountered some initial problems as it did not have
entire possession of the property as part of it was
owned by private individuals. "But they had resolved
the issue and now we can continue because we had
mobilised previously, about a year-and-a-half ago,
but we had to demobilise. "Hopefully we can complete
the construction within a year," Gopeesingh said. On
the update of the Paramin RC School, Gopeesingh
said while construction was completed the final approval
had not been granted by the Ministry of Works.
However, the Education Minister said he had been
working closely with Works Minister Dr Surju Ram-
bachan and was hoping that students can move into
the school for the start of the new term in September.
"For some reason for two months now at the Ministry
of Works the final approval has not been forthcoming.
So he (Rambachan) has promised to look into it and
hopefully the children would be in school in September,"
Complaints of students scoring high marks but
failing to place for their first choice schools again
resurfaced while Gopeesingh was fielding questions
himself would be contesting seats
in Lopinot/Bon Air West, Arima
and St Augustine.
Former Arima deputy mayor,
Patricia Cedeno-Metivier, was
announced as a candidate to contest
the D Abadie/O Meara constituency,
once held by former sport minister
Cedeno-Metivier has acted as a
"caretaker" MP since Roberts res-
ignation last year following the Life
Sport scandal which unrooted wan-
ton wastage and financial impropri-
ety in a government social pro-
gramme under his ministry.
Ramadhar told the media COP
NO SCREENING YET
On whether he had been called before the
screening committee Gopeesingh said he
had not. Asked when he was expected to
appear he said: "Well, leave that to the
screening committee and the Prime Minister
who heads the committee."
But Gopeesingh said he was prepared to
go for screening and to serve for another
five years. "I'm a team player. I think I have
been good in the batting order. I'm a good
bowler and I'm a good all rounder," he added.
would be going to the bargaining
table with the UNC and said the
party saw a successful panning for
He said he had spoken to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
about negotiations. "The COP will
look to go back to the polls for the
six seats it currently holds and pos-
sibly more. The real quest is for
quality representation from the
best candidate rather than the
number of seats," Ramadhar said.
Responding to questions from
the media, Ramadhar also defended
the "No Rowley" campaign which
was launched by the coalition gov-
ernment this weekend. He denied
that the campaign was meant to
discredit People s National Move-
ment (PNM) political leader Dr
Ramadhar said the campaign
was not meant to demonise Rowley
but was seeking to ensure account-
ability. "It is a defence of the truth
and not an attempt to demonise
the Opposition Leader," he said.
He called Rowley s allegations
regarding the "emailgate" scandal
as "reckless" and without merit.
He said Rowley did not care about
the people of T&T and said the
country would regress under his
leadership. Ramadhar refused to
say who was funding the campaign
which has a website called bill-
boards, and uses radio and televi-
sion advertisements to attack the
from members of the media.
Saying he had repeatedly explained that the Edu-
cation Minister said it all had to do with choosing
schools. "It depends of the school of choice that were
made. If they fell out of the four schools of their
choices then they had to be zoned by the Ministry
of Education officials.
"When the parents examine the marks, the marks
have been excellent but the competition for the schools
that many parents want their children go to has been
so high," Gopeesingh said. He added that the ministry
was addressing concerns of parents and had begun
to deal with issues of transfers from yesterday.
The La Fillette RC School is expected to cater to
210 pupils and the estimated cost is $8.5 million.
Principal of La Fillette RC Primary School Nichell
Richardson-Austin, who was also present, described
the ceremony as a remarkable achievement for the
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