I not leaving COP
By ANDRE BAGOO Tuesday, September 11 2012
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LEAVING: Congress of the People (COP) vice chairman Vernon De Lima leaves COP headquarters in Charlieville on Sunday after the party's executive did n...
VICE-CHAIRMAN of the Congress of the People Vernon De Lima yesterday said he will not resign from the party, now that a motion tabled in his name was defeated at the COP’s national executive on the weekend, despite his threat to do just that if the motion was not passed.
Instead, De Lima yesterday said he is now mulling over whether or not he wants to contest a place in the party’s executive – perhaps the chairmanship – at internal elections due next month.
De Lima’s about turn came after the COP National Council on Sunday voted down a resolution he tabled calling on the COP to threaten to leave the People’s Partnership, if Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar does not take action in relation to FIFA bribery allegations and the findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“My position was I would resign from the executive of the party...but not leave the party as a whole. I am not going to join the PNM or UNC. I want to help the situation here. I never said I would resign and walk out of politics altogether. I said I would resign. By ‘resign’, I meant from the position of vice-chairman of the party,” De Lima told Newsday yesterday.
But, on September 4 (last week Tuesday), De Lima had said that if his resolution was not passed by the COP executive, “I will resign immediately!”
“I will take my parachute and jump out of the ship. I have no problem with that. However, I do not think that it will come to that as I feel that the majority of the party comprises people of standards,” De Lima further said on September 4. De Lima’s resolution ended with the line: “Be it resolved that the Congress of the People call on the Honourable Prime Minister to remove Mr Jack Warner from the Cabinet; failing which the Congress of the People will dissociate itself entirely from the People’s Partnership.” This line was the main bone of contention for the party on Sunday.
In the end the Council compromised. It rejected the original motion, but passed it in an amended form, deleting the threat (for the COP to leave the Partnership), but still called on the Prime Minister to isolate Warner from Cabinet pending the outcome of a police investigation.
De Lima yesterday said he understood why the Council passed the amended resolution. “I would like to say I understand the position of the people who wanted to remove that part. They are of the view that the party must stay and rectify things from the inside,” he said.
“I am not saying that we should mash up the PP. You have to reach a stage where you draw a line in the sand.” De Lima said he would, “wait and see,” what reaction is provoked by the passing of the amended motion before he takes action in relation to his place on the COP executive, but reiterated that he would not leave the party.
“The internal elections are in only 40 days time...so let us wait,” he said. “I may decide to go back and run for chairman, in which case we will have a totally different scenario,” De Lima said. The current COP chairman is Joseph Toney.