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Tewarie: I don’t want to be COP leader

By Andre Bagoo Tuesday, May 27 2014

PLANNING Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie, a member of the Congress of the People (COP), has ruled out the possibility of contesting the post of COP political leader.

There were reports circulating yesterday that Tewarie would put his hat in the ring, but he scotched such reports yesterday saying while he had been approached, he would not offer himself as a candidate.

“I have been asked but I don’t think so,” Tewarie told Newsday. “The COP needs healing, it needs unity and a leader by consent of party members is desirable. With this, the COP can bring strength to the (People’s) Partnership and strengthen it even further. I am not disposed to do anything to cause factionalism or rift. COP members must appreciate that the future of our country is at stake.”

Tewarie continued, “They must lock arms, heal, grow, be a strong partner and make the Partnership stronger. I am willing to help. But my focus right now is on vital things to be done in my Ministry, keeping Government strong, supporting the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prioritising the governance issues that require attention and collaborating to craft ‘Action 21’, our plan for the next term.”

Stressing that “a strong COP is important for a strong Partnership,” Tewarie said, “The country needs a strong Partnership in spite of mistakes and errors. The issue now is not personality but leadership, governance and sustainable development.” Incumbent COP political leader, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, has said he is keeping his options open about standing for re-election in next month’s election.

The nomination day for the COP’s internal poll is June 6. In preparation for nomination and polling days, the COP is currently engaged in a voter list verification exercise.

“In order to be a candidate or a voter in this election, one must be a member of the COP on or before December 29, 2013 and must be on the COP voters list,” the party’s chairman of its Elections Commission, Nizam Mohammed, said in a press release yesterday. Members must verify that they are on the voters list.

“To verify their membership, eligible COP members can visit the COP offices at Flagship House – Broome Street, Port-of-Spain, Operations Centre – Caroni Savannah Road, Charlieville, COP Corner – Quenca Street in San Fernando or COP Arima – Farfan Street in Arima or call the COP Elections Hotline – 671-1134. They can also email the Secretariat at: copoperationscentre@gmail.com.,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed continued, “Many members have already verified their presence on the voters list and the Elections Commission is encouraging all other members to do the same before the end of the exercise on Saturday, 31 May, 2014. This will ensure that they can vote on June 29.”

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