Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 27th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Dookeran backs Seepersad-Bachan to lead COP
Former Congress of the People
(COP) political leader Winston
Dookeran is supporting Carolyn
Seepersad-Bachan's bid for the
leadership of the party. But rival
candidate Nicole Dyer-Griffith's
camp can't confirm claims that
Dyer-Griffith has the support of
former PP Sports Minister Anil
Seepersad-Bachan and Griffith's
campaign manager, Gary Griffith,
spoke on the respective issues yes-
terday as their camps denounced
"mud-slinging" in the COP's July
9 leadership poll.
and Sharon Gopaul-McNichol are
contesting the election.
Seepersad-Bachan said she had
spoken to Dookeran about her bid
"and he's very happy that I'm con-
testing. I was urged to contest by
many. I was surprised at the num-
ber of foundation members who
Dookeran had endorsed her first
bid for the position in 2014 when
she lost to then incumbent Prakash
"There was a lot of mud-sling-
ing in that (2014) election also and
I denounced it," she said yesterday
election I made it clear at our can-
didates' meeting last Monday that
we should not go down that road
and I wouldn't be involved in mud
slinging since we need to adhere to
standards that would us all rebuild
the COP after July 9."
Dyer-Griffith's husband Gary,
commenting on claims that former
minister Roberts is supporting her
candidacy, said:"As a COP member
Mr Roberts is free to support whoev-
er he prefers but we have no idea who
he's supporting, as neither Nicole
nor myself have seen or spoken to
him in three years."
On "mud slinging," Griffith add-
ed: "Unfortunately, one of the three
candidates has turned to playing a
game of trying to undermine and
discredit her opponents and the
party. It's hoped this COP election
wouldn't go into the gutter as we've
seen with previous internal elections
with other parties.
"Based on a directive by our can-
didate, there would be no comment
directed at undermining or disre-
specting any of her fellow candi-
dates. She's stated she has the world
of respect for both individuals and
looks forward to working with them
after the election."
Griffith, responding to ques-
tions from COP's Wendell Eversly
on whether Dyer-Griffith is eligible
to participate in the election, said:
"She was no longer a member of the
AOI since late 2016."
to be defeated
Just as the no-confidence motion brought
against former house speaker wade mark by
jack warner in 2015, which was defeated by
a majority vote, the opposition's no-confi-
dence motion against house speaker Bridgid
Annisette-George is likely to be defeated for
the same reason.
However, the motion will give the Opposition
an opportunity to tell the nation what it perceives
as alleged breaches of their rights in Parliament, a
parliamentary source told the T&T Guardian. He
said the motion can be defeated simply because the
party in power will have the majority vote.
In February 2015, 12 members of the then PNM
Opposition voted for Warner's motion while 21
members of the UNC government voted against it.
Warner brought the no-confidence motion
against Mark for saying he had received notification
from the High Court of a lawsuit filed by former
finance minister Larry Howai against Azad Ali and
the Sunshine newspaper. Warner argued that law-
suit dealt with the very issue that was to be debated
that day in Parliament, a motion of no-confidence
he (Warner) had brought against Howai.
Warner's motion against Mark was seconded by
Dr Keith Rowley, head of the opposition at the time.
The Opposition filed a notice for the no-con-
fidence motion against Annisette-George after a
heated sitting in the House last Friday in which
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath accused Leader
of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis
of calling him a racist during crosstalk.
Robinson-Regis allegedly made the statement
after Padarath said he knew Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley has a disdain for the people of south Trini-
dad because they are UNC people. He said Rowley
visited flooded out areas after Tropical Storm Bret
without walking with even a tin of sardines or Crix
Padarath called on the Speaker to have Robin-
son-Regis apologise or withdraw her statement. He
also told the Speaker Rowley called him a racist, as
well, when he said "I agree" after Robinson-Regis
called him a racist.
The Speaker, without ruling on the matter, sus-
pended the sitting and when the House was recon-
vened, she announced the House will be debating
the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act instead of
the flooding matter of urgent public importance.
The parliamentary source said after the motion
is filed, it has to be accepted by the Speaker herself,
laid in Parliament, debated and voted upon.
As Mark had recused himself to allow then dep-
uty speaker Nela Khan to preside over the debate
on the no-confidence motion against him so, too,
Annisette-George, if the motion against her is ap-
proved, will have to recuse herself and allow Deputy
Speaker Esmond Forde to preside.
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