Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 22nd 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 22, 2017
Tomorrow's Congress of the People (COP)
membership meeting will focus on issues arising
from the postponed July 9 leadership election
and identifying a new date for this---but con-
cerns about the meeting have been raised by
two leadership contenders.
Leadership contender Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan
has expressed doubts about the membership body's
decision-making ability to identify a date. Contender
Sharon Gopaul-McNichol has also aired concerns
about a purported change of the meeting's original
Latest issue follows earlier COP problems con-
cerning its former July 9 leadership election. This
was postponed after member Kirt Francis issued a
pre-action protocol letter challenging the bona fides
of leadership contender Nicole Dyer-Griffith and her
reapplication for membership.
A July 5 statement from COP leader Dr Anirudh Ma-
habir noting Francis' letter , said the election would be
postponed for issues raised in the letter to be resolved
by members. He said polling day will be postponed to
a date to be fixed by a general membership meeting
on July 23. Mahabir said since the election was set
by a general membership meeting, "it was our view
issues connected to it should be resolved by a similar
meeting of members."
A July 5 leadership statement also stated it was
"agreed the Election of the National Executive Officers
should be conducted ahead of the Political Leader
Election (sic) and the July 23 membership meeting set
the date for election of an executive. It stated election
of a leader "will take place at a later date." However, a
subsequent release that same day indicated the earlier
release should be ignored.
This week, COP members said they understood
the agenda for tomorrow's meeting is now only to
discuss issues concerning the postponed election and
set a date for that---and not discuss national exec-
WASA chairman clears air:
Water lost was
not through leaks
Chairman of the Water and Sewerage Au-
thority, Romney Thomas, says the 40 per cent
of water lost by the authority was not through
leaks but classified as "Unaccounted for Water."
Romney, in an email responding to a Sunday Guard-
ian story which reported on leaks, said that classifying
the lost water as leaks was incorrect.
He said the 40 per cent of Unaccounted for Water
(UFW), or water which has been produced and is "lost"
before it reaches the customer was due specifically to
leaks on the pipeline network, customer side leaks,
wastage and theft.
"This response clearly identifies several factors in-
cluding leaks on WASA's network, customer leaks,
wastage and theft, as contributing to the overall es-
timated UFW of 40 per cent," he wrote.
As reported in the Sunday Guardian, an estimat-
ed 55 per cent of WASA's pipeline network requires
The authority has also recently come under crit-
icism from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during
his community conversation in Point Fortin.
At the meeting, Rowley was quoted as saying:
"We are going to have to review the use of funds
at WASA because WASA is using up an amount of
money and we are not getting value for that money.
"WASA's finances are out of whack and WASA is
relying on subsidies from the Treasury."
Yesterday, the party's general secretary,
Clyde Weatherhead, confirmed the meet-
ing would address any issues arising from
the postponed elections and identify a new
date. He admitted election of a new National
Executive "was proposed" for the agenda
"by some people." But, he added "Sunday's
meeting will decide what will take place,"
Popular leadership contender Nicole
Dyer-Griffith said she supports having
new election date as soon as possible af-
ter the vacation period, "considering lost
But another popular candidate, Seeper-
sad-Bachan, expressed doubts the mem-
bership could make such decisions.
"We certainly do need to have the post-
poned election back on track, but I don't
understand the first item on the agen-
da---concerning 'issues' arising from the
last election---and also I'm aware that the
membership meeting isn't defined in COP's
Constitution as a body that can make de-
cisions," Seepersad-Bachan said.
"Party decisions are to be made by duly
authorised decision-making bodies---a
membership meeting isn't one. So this
meeting may not be able to set an election
Contender Sharon Gopaul McNichol
said, "As far as I know Sunday's agenda
remains what was originally stated. But
I also note the general secretary changed
the agenda without appropriate consulta-
tion---all of this will have to be addressed
at the meeting."
COP membership meets tomorrow
...focus on postponed leadership election
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