Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 29th 2013 Contents A5
Monday, April 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Political leader of the Congress of the People (COP)
Prakash Ramadhar, who is also Minister of Legal
Affairs, said yesterday that the party would consider
if it is in its interest to contest the Chaguanas West
seat, which is expected to be declared vacant by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives shortly.
Former UNC chairman and national security minister
Jack Warner tendered his resignation as Chaguanas
West MP on Friday, after a damning report by the
Integrity Committee of regional football body Concacaf.
It was presented by committee chairman, former Chief
Justice of Barbados, Sir David Simmons.
The report claimed that Warner and another former
leader of the Concacaf, Chuck Blazer, managed the
body in a fraudulent manner. Concacaf said Warner
failed to co-operate with it in its investigations. Warner
said the report was malicious and said he was guilty
of no offence.
Under the Constitution, if there is a vacancy within
the first four years of the life of the House of Repre-
sentatives, a by-election shall be held to fill the vacancy
"not later than 90 days from the date of the announce-
ment by the Speaker of the vacancy."
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the COP in
Charlieville, Chaguanas, yesterday, Ramadhar said the
party was not happy about the recent developments
but it was a display of democracy at work.
"We take no joy in Mr Warner s difficulties (but) I
think (his resignation) will strengthen the partnership
as we go forward."
He said the COP, which is a member of the People s
Partnership administration, "holds firm to the view
that if you have serious allegations against you, please
step aside. We feel vindicated that new value is coming
(to the politics of T&T)."
Ramadhar said: "What has happened will strengthen
the Partnership and certainly the COP s involvement
it."Speaking at a meeting in his constituency on Thursday
night, Warner said he would like to contest the seat
on a UNC ticket.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, speaking on her
return from a state visit to Canada, said on Saturday
night that the former minister would have to go through
the normal party processs. She said the party will
decide who would contest the seat in the by-election.
Ramadhar said yesterday that his party "will speak
among itself first to see if it was in the interest of the
party and country to field a candidate in Chaguanas
No part of the country was off-limits to the COP,
He said he will speak to the Prime Minister at the
leaders meeting "as to how we go forward, knowing
full well that we are committed to the people of Trinidad
and Tobago first and foremost."
Told that Warner had promised to deal with him,
Ramadhar said he was not fearful of anyone.
"So whoever wants to deal with me, let them come,"
He said if there were to be any internal fighting
within the UNC as a result of Warner s resignation it
should stay within the UNC and not spread to the
People s Partnership Government.
He said the dismissal and or resignation of ministers
from the Government was not any indication of the
Ramadhar said governance has matured since 2010
"What you are seeing is growing pains, democracy
in growth," he said.
"If you are seeing ministers fired or replaced, if wrong
is done and a person is removed, could that ever be
seen as weakness or as crumbling?"
Since the UNC came to power in 2010, ministers
Mary King, John Sandy, Therese Baptiste-Cornelis,
Rudrawatie Nan-Gosine Ramgoolam, Colin Partap,
Subhas Panday, Verna St Rose-Greaves have been
sacked from the Cabinet.
In wake of Warner's resignation...
COP eyes Chaguanas West
The Congress of the People (COP) will
be getting tough with its indisciplined MPs
This is according Public Administration
Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, who
chairs the party.
She told a news conference hosted by the
COP at its Charlieville office that she was
mandated by the party s leader, Legal Affairs
Minister Prakash Ramadhar to take action
to ensure all COP MPs adhere to the highest
stands of party discipline.
She was responding to questions about
the absence of Sport Minister, COP member
Anil Roberts from yesterday s meeting, which
was called to discuss the way forward for
the party , following Friday s resignation of
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner.
Seepersad-Bachan said: "We are not going
to be taking responsibility anymore for (COP)
MPs who speak contrary to our party s
She said that matter was raised during
yesterday s meeting "and we intend to treat
with this very seriously."
She said the COP did not have the mech-
anisms to deal with party indiscipline but
at the next COP national assembly in June
"we will have a constitution where we can
take action against members who do not
comply and conform with the party s value
system and principles."
The Public Administration Minister said
she will be checking in "with every MP to
ensure that they must adhere to the party s
Ramadhar said he also intended to speak
with Roberts about his absence from the
meeting. He said the new party discipline
regulations will be for all COP members.
In the new COP constitution which was
already prepared and awaiting ratification,
Ramadhar said "you will see more severe
powers for discipline in the party."
He said when the first constitution was
approved the focus was not as much on dis-
cipline as it was on creating party struc-
Carolyn reads riot
act to 'errant' MPs
Political leader of the Congress of the People (COP) Prakash Ramadhar.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar
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