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Kamla unfazed PP leaders in no-show at UNC induction ceremony
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Prime Minister and Political Leader of the United National Congress Kamla Persad-Bissessar, greets supporters during the Induction Ceremony of the National Executive, on yesterday evening at Rienzi Complex Couva. Photo: Rishi Ragoonath

Political leaders of the Congress of the People (COP) and the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ)—two of the political parties that came together to form the People’s Partnership Government were absent from yesterday’s induction ceremony of the United National Congress national executive.


In spite of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s announcement that her Government is “intact” neither the leader of the COP, Prakash Ramadhar, nor the MSJ’s David Abdulah was present at the ceremony at Rienzi Complex, Couva. Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) political leader Ashworth Jack was out of the country.


The Prime Minister yesterday said she was not offended by the absence of the leaders because it was difficult to get a date convenient to all parties. While explaining that the TOP leader had to travel, the Prime Minister said Abdulah was engaged in his party’s committee meeting. But when Sunday Guardian contacted Abdulah he said otherwise.


“I did not know about that ceremony,” Abdulah told Sunday Guardian when contacted. The MSJ has called on the Prime Minister to address a number of national concerns. However, she did not mention Ramadhar, who was absent. Ramadhar was represented by COP secretary Jamal Mohammed who was the lone member from his party.


A newspaper advertisement on Friday published that leadership members were expected to address the ceremony. The COP has accused the UNC of poaching one of its members—San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray. In delivering the feature address, Persad-Bissessar urged members to defend the party and not take for granted their 2010 general election victory.


She said there were party deterrents who try to frustrate their every move by using political sycophants in critical positions to foil their progressive policies.


Jack: It is time to work
Meanwhile, chairman of the UNC Jack Warner said the PP must not take the electorate for granted. Indicating that the lead up to general elections is going to be challenging, Warner said: “The work this time will be more challenging. The focus to achieve has to be more austere.


The approach to ensure the readiness of the UNC to face any polls must be more strategic and there has to be a more expansive vision among all if we are to ensure that our ultimate mandate, which is to keep our party in power, is achieved.” Warner said with immediate effect a shadow MP would be placed in each of the 41 constituencies where the MP is not a member of the UNC.


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