Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, November 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Outgoing mayor of San Fernando
Dr Navi Muradali was given a stand-
ing ovation at the swearing-in yes-
terday of a new mayor and council
as he sent a strong message to lead-
ers of all political parties to change
the national conversation if they
wanted to attract upstanding citizens
to the politics.
The ten-minute farewell speech
by Muradali, in which he decried the
vulgarity and obscenity which now
passed for politics, received sustained
applause from the packed city audi-
In addition to the new mayor,
Kazim Hosein, three others were
elected as aldermen---deputy mayor
Junia Regrello, Vidia Mungal-Bissessar
and attorney Kevin Rattiram, the lone
Muradali said seven years ago he
left his lucrative medical practice to
get involved in politics to make a dif-
ference but when he thought the
country was uniting on issues it had
just descended into garbage and noth-
"Seven years later," he said, "it is
really disheartening to know that in
2013, the national conversation in
this country leaves a lot to be desired."
He told political leader of the Peo-
ple s National Movement (PNM) Dr
Keith Rowley and Congress of the
People (COP) chairman Carolyn
Seepersad-Bachan, who were in the
"What I have witnessed in the local
government elections and even before
that will not motivate the young peo-
ple and the young professionals to
get into politics."
Amidst sustained applause, he
added: "It saddens me that a young
child could sit with his/her parents
to watch television and see what
parades itself as politics in this coun-
try. You, as a political leader and as
chairman, I hope you take the mes-
sage back to your respective parties
and I also appeal to the Prime Min-
ister, as leader of her party, and leader
of the Independent Liberal Party that
the country at this point in time, we
do not want to see what is being dis-
"The national conversation must
change. It requires us to sit down to
reflect and to respect each other. At
the end of the day we want respect."
Hosein said he was proud, humbled
and privileged to have been given that
task and pledged to uphold his oath
He said he intended in the next
term to embrace the diversity, rather
than concentrate on the differences.
Among his first order of business,
he said, was to remove the mayor s
office from the top floor of City Hall
to a lower floor so the differently
abled and elderly could have access
Calling himself a servant of the
people, newly-appointed mayor of
Port-of-Spain Raymond Tim Kee
has promised to pursue and con-
tinue the work started by former
mayor Louis Lee Sing.
He made the promise minutes
after taking the oath of office at City
Hall, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
"I am not about breaking down
the old and starting new," Tim Kee,
the president of the Trinidad and
Tobago Football Federation, added.
He said he would study Lee Sing s
plans with the view of pursuing them
"The vision we hold is the same,
that is making the city of Port-of-
Spain a true capital city, not only in
Trinidad but in the Caribbean," he
He called on citizens to be the
change they wanted to see in the
country and said the entire country
needed to do better as a people.
"For the next three years I commit
myself to service. Mayor is a lofty
title. I prefer servant or facilitator,"
He called on residents of Port-
of-Spain to stand with him to build
a better city.
Keron Valentine was re-elected
as deputy mayor and received loud
applause from approving residents.
Lee Sing, who received a standing
ovation from councillors and Oppo-
sition leader Dr Keith Rowley, said
he looked back on his term as mayor
"I was crazy enough to believe
that in the time I gave myself I could
achieve what I set out to achieve,"
Lee Sing, who was no stranger to
controversy or critics during his 39-
month term as mayor, said he was
sure bloggers would miss having him
to ridicule, abuse and curse on a
He said members of the Govern-
ment s Cabinet did not understand
the role of the city.
"During our term in office we had
a Cabinet of ministers who always
trampled on the affairs of the city,"
Lee Sing said.
While Independent Liberal
Party (ILP) St Joseph by-election
candidate Om Lalla was in the
United National Congress
(UNC), he filled out Ian Alleyne s
UNC application form and Jack
Warner, who was on the UNC s
screening team in 2010, subse-
quently screened the former talk
show host, Alleyne said yester-
He made the comment as he
dismissed Warner s claim he
might be unable to contest Mon-
day s by-election if he was not
a UNC member or did not have
a party card.
Alleyne said during Thursday s
San Juan walkabout he did not
need a party card to help people
and Warner subsequently based
his "concerns" on that remark.
But speaking to reporters at
Aranguez, San Juan, yesterday,
where he dropped in after a Food
Production Ministry function,
Alleyne said Warner was "clearly
politicking," since both Warner
and Lalla knew full well he was
a UNC member and for how
Alleyne said he and Lalla had
been drinking coffee in Lalla s
Valsayn kitchen in 2010, when
Lalla presented him with a UNC
membership application form and
said he was going to fill the appli-
cation form out for him.
"My good friend Om Lalla also
took me to UNC head office at
Rienzi Complex so I don t know
how he and his leader can come
up with this now," Alleyne added.
He said in April 2010 he was
also screened by the UNC for
Chaguanas East and Warner was
on UNC s screening team.
"So all this man can do is
cause bacchanal and try and tar-
nish people s character but his
claim holds no merit, I assure
you," he said.
Food Production Minister
Devant Maharaj also said when
he was screened for Couva South
in 2010, Alleyne was in the wait-
ing room with him also waiting
to be screened.
He added: "Jack Warner was
on the screening team then and
he would have questioned Alleyne
all about his bona fides but how
much of them in the ILP have
"Warner is trying in his trade-
mark way to distract from the
"Ian Alleyne never tendered
his resignation from the UNC
and never publicly said he
resigned. He may have been crit-
ical of the party but that s his
fundamental right for the bet-
terment of T&T."
The Independent Liberal Party
(ILP) is only willing to negotiate
with top officials from rival polit-
ical parties to strike a deal to elect
a mayor for the borough of
So said Jack Warner, the ILP
interim leader, to the media after
the swearing-in ceremony for
councillors and aldermen for the
borough yesterday at the Chagua-
nas Town Hall.
Warner said he had been
approached by some "lower level
persons" from political parties. He
added: "I have said to them that I
would not be talking to persons at
the second level."
He said he only wanted to talk to
political leaders of parties. However,
he said by Wednesday Chaguanas
would have a mayor and a deputy
Warner said his candidates who
had won seats in the borough had
been approached to jump the polit-
ical ship. He said the councillors
had been offered obscene sums of
tens of millions of dollars to leave
The ILP aldermen---Indrawatte
Maharaj and Falisha Isahak---were
not sworn in on Friday. The UNC
and PNM offered Gopaul Boodhan
and Aben Phillips respectively as
Warner said the documents came
at 7.30 pm on Thursday and both
Maharaj and Isahak could not get
out of other arrangements they had.
In the interim Orlando Nagessar
would act as Mayor. Nagessar hoped
the new team would function as a
unit for the benefit of the people of
He said councillors should take
their jobs seriously and be seen in
the community. He said one of the
complaints of burgesses was the
absence of councillors.
Warner on Chaguanas: I'll only deal with heads of parties
Muradali: Politics too obscene
Newly-appointed mayor of San Fernando, Kazim Hosein, inspects a parade
after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday of mayor, aldermen and deputy
mayor of the San Fernando City Corporation. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
New city mayor plans to continue Lee Sing's works
New mayor of Port-of-Spain, Raymond Tim Kee, left, and former mayor
Louis Lee Sing after the swearing-in of councillors and election of mayor
and deputy mayor of the Port-of-Spain Corporation at City Hall, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Wendell Stephen: St James West.
Jameel Bisnath: St James East.
June Durham: Woodbrook.
Keron Valentine: Port-of-Spain North.
Darryl Rajpaul: Belmont East.
Farai Hove Masaisai: Belmont North
Dada Gabriel: Port-of-Spain South.
Nedra McClean: East Dry River.
Ashtine Thomason: St Ann's River
Keno Romeo: St Ann's River Central.
Hillan Morean: St Ann's River North.
Jennel Young: Belmont South.
Raymond Tim Kee
James Chin Ching
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