Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2014 Contents news
June 1, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Political leader of the Congress
of the People (COP) Prakash
Ramadhar has promised to "take
control of the situation" surround-
ing COP member and Sport Min-
ister Anil Roberts alleged involve-
ment in the controversial video
making the rounds on social media.
Speaking with reporters as he
launched his bid to recontest the
COP s internal elections at the
party s Flagship House, Woodbrook,
yesterday, Ramadhar at first did not
want to comment on the now viral
video of a man purported to be
Roberts in the company of two
women and handling what appeared
to be marijuana.
"We do not have to (talk about
the issue)," he said in response to
questions from the media.
Ramadhar said he "understands"
that a COP team met with Roberts,
but he "exercised his constitutional
right, I understand, to silence. But
I have made the point before that
this is a political issue, and the party
will meet this week coming and then
chart the way forward.
"I will be holding a press confer-
ence, and I do not want the issue
of why we are here today to be over-
shadowed by that other matter, as
important as it is. This party will
treat with it in the manner and form
and with the seriousness that it
deal with Roberts.
"The party has processes and we
will abide by those."
to 'take control' of
the Anil situation
Ramadhar also announced
that he will be recontesting his
seat at the party's upcoming
internal elections. With just
days left before the close of
Ramadhar is the first COP
member to throw his hat into
the ring for the leadership of
Ramadhar made the
announcement yesterday at a
media conference at the
party's Flagship House,
Woodbrook, surrounded by his
family and a throng of
"In this very difficult
environment, the politics, as
we have all said, is one of the
biggest problems for the
development of this country,"
While praising the party,
Ramadhar admitted that some
members had to be
"persuaded" to go along with
some party decisions.
"And [there were] those who
could not be persuaded and
who felt that their points of
view must reign supreme
without caring or concern to all
In his short address,
Ramadhar cemented his
party's commitment to the
People's Partnership coalition
and called on the public to
remember the trials faced
under the former
"I, as the leader of this party,
have had to endure personal
humiliation, insults and
denigration by those who truly
did not understand the long
march forward that is
important for a nation to
change its course, having been
neglected for generations."
Ramadhar said he would
welcome any other contenders
for the post of political leader,
including former party leader
The Sunday Guardian
reported two weeks ago that
Dookeran had been
approached by party members
to take over control of the
"I welcome all who wish to
enter the democratic
environment. I really want a
very heated and a very
dynamic campaign so that the
truth will set us free."
Dookeran, in an interview
with the Sunday Guardian,
then said he had met with
Ramadhar to discuss the
concerns of the membership.
confirmed that meeting, but
refused to comment on it.
"I do not ever breach private
conversations. What I will say
is that we have a very healthy
working relationship, and I will
always cherish him as the
founding father of this party."
RAMADHAR SEEKS RE-ELECTION
Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar, right, his
wife, Jaya, and their daughter Urvi pose for a photo after a press conference
held at the COP Flagship House, Woodbrook, yesterday.
PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Congress of the People (COP)
chairman Carolyn Seepersad-
Bachan will support former party
leader Winston Dookeran if he
decides to challenge the party s
current leader Prakash Ramad-
Seepersad-Bachan is not alone.
Yesterday, another five members
of the COP, including former
members of the party s national
executive, called on Dookeran to
reclaim the reins of the COP.
The five---Robert Mayers,
Patrick Watson, Vernon de Lima,
Wendy Lee Yuen and Hulsie
Bhaggan---issued a media release
calling for Dookeran to participate
in the upcoming internal elec-
The release comes just as cur-
rent political leader Prakash
Ramadhar announced his inten-
tion to recontest his position.
"In our view, Mr Dookeran s
return as political leader will allow
the party to reassert itself on the
political landscape," the endorse-
ment letter stated.
"Mr Dookeran has a proven
track record of selfless and
untainted leadership, both prior
to and following the formation of
the COP. He is one of the most
highly regarded and trusted politi-
cians of our time," they said.
The five senior party members
said that should Dookeran return,
he would have their support. (RS)
Calls for Dookeran to take back COP
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