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Douglas bids to lead COP

By JULIEN NEAVES Thursday, June 5 2014

WITH nomination day in the Congress of the People (COP) political leader election being held tomorrow COP Deputy Political Leader Dr Lincoln Douglas has announced his intention to throw his hat into the ring.

“I am considering running as political leader myself,” he told Newsday yesterday.

The June 29 election has been heating up with founding political leader Winston Dookeran on Tuesday endorsing COP Chairman Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan for political leader and announcing his intention to contest for the role of chairman at COP elections later this year. Incumbent political leader Prakash Ramadhar had previously announced that he will be seeking re-election while Seepersad-Bachan has said she is still weighing her options.

Douglas, a possible third candidate, noted that he will be making an official announcement this morning at 9.30 am at COP Flagship House, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain.

Questioned about what he brings to the role of political leader Douglas responded that he will outline his intentions and what he believes he can bring to the party and the political process at the media conference. On Dookeran’s statement that he wants to be a candidate for chairman, Douglas responded, “I am totally excited about this. I find Mr Dookeran take long to get involved. I wonder what was his hindrance all the time. I am very excited about his eventual decision to come out of the cold and be involved in the party.”

COP member and Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel, also speaking to Newsday yesterday, did not endorse any candidates nor did he confirm whether he would also be running for the post.

“I respect all of those who will run for leadership. I pray for all of those who will do that,” he said.

Questioned whether he would be endorsing any candidates Samuel said that he will “pray for continuity”.

“I would listen to all (candidates) and what they have to say,” he added.

On Dookeran’s announcement that he is interested in being a candidate for chairman later this year Samuel noted that it is “everybody’s prerogative to figure where they fit in”.

“And I respect all of the people and...I really honour the people that put themselves up for leadership. And that’s fantastic and that’s good. I have no objections to anybody offering themselves to service. It is good to see Mr Dookeran involved again. That’s fantastic,” he said.

Questioned whether he had any plans to throw his hat into the political leader race Samuel said, “I wait on the Lord” and he does nothing without the Lord’s leading.

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