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MPATT election slate banned

By CAROL MATROO Wednesday, April 16 2014

A SLATE contesting positions on the executive of the Medical Professionals Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT) has reportedly been denied the right to do so, after members were accused of using “threatening conduct” against a MPATT executive member.

One of the doctors campaigning for a top post in the election, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow, said after seeking information about applying for certain positions in the association at MPATT’s head office in Chaguanas, he was accused of threatening a worker.

The doctor said he decided to contest and seek information on his slate contesting relevant seats on the executive after growing fed up of seeing one group of doctors holding the same positions in the executive every two years when the election is held.

The doctor, who spoke to Newsday on condition of anonymity, said when he sought information as to how the election was conducted, the female MPATT official claimed she felt “threatened” by him and later filed a complaint to the police.

“The secretary said members were verbally abusive and she made a police report. Our membership with MPATT is suspended, so we can’t run for elections because a police report has been made against us,” the doctor said yesterday.

The doctor said his slate is prepared to file a pre-action protocol letter on being barred, citing that it was wrong to prevent them from going up for elections based on a report made to police by a member of the existing MPATT executive.

“There was no threat against the individual. We are fighting for free and fair elections. All I did was go to the office and ask for information,” the doctor said. The MPATT head office has been declared closed after the woman was declared unwell. The office will remain closed until further notice.

The doctor said the election is supposed to be conducted between noon and 5 pm tomorrow, but said this was not enough time for doctors many of whom work shifts.

The doctor said he and others have been calling for constitutional change in MPATT.

“They (MPATT) said they want an independent body to come in and suggested PSA (Public Services Association) and we said no.

The PSA is already in shambles with their elections so who are they to come and observe our election,” the doctor asked.

But, despite pre-action protocol letters to stop the election of a new executive of MPATT, the election will go ahead as planned tomorrow, according to a release yesterday.

When contacted yesterday, incumbent MPATT president Dr Ravindranath Narine, was terse in his response, “I have no comment to make on whatever you are going to ask me. Have a good day. Good bye.”

The call was terminated by Dr Narine.

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