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‘Politics too vulgar’

By Cecily Asson Saturday, November 2 2013

click on pic to zoom in
New Sando Mayor: Navi Muradali, right, congratulates alderman Kazim Hosein who succeeds him as Mayor of San Fernando at a swearing-in ceremony at the ...
New Sando Mayor: Navi Muradali, right, congratulates alderman Kazim Hosein who succeeds him as Mayor of San Fernando at a swearing-in ceremony at the ...

Dr NAVI Muradali yesterday received a standing ovation from a large audience that included political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Dr Keith Rowley and chairman of the Congres of the People (COP) Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan when he delivered his swansong as mayor of the city of San Fernando.

Alderman Kazim Hosein one of three aldermen appointed by the PNM, was yesterday sworn in as the new mayor of San Fernando at the City Auditorium. Following the October 21 Local Government elections, the PNM once again gained control of the San Fernando City Corporation which was led by the COP in the last term. Hosein’s deputy is former Member of Parliament Junia Regrello.

Seven years ago, Muaradali, a medical doctor and dentist, said he left his lucrative practice for the political arena which eventually saw him become mayor one year ago. As he took the podium for the last time, Muradali openly expressed his disappointment with the politics of the day, especially during the just concluded Local Government elections campaign “and even before that.”.

Speaking to the wide cross-section of former mayors, politicians, close relatives and friends at the swearing-in ceremony of aldermen, mayor and deputy mayor, Muradali said, “What I really want to say today, as someone who got into politics seven years ago wishing to make a difference, it is really disheartening to know that in 2013 the national conversation in this country leaves a lot to be desired.” He continued, “What I have witnessed is vulgarity, it is obscene, it is vulgar and it is crass what has ben placed for the nation to witness night after in our political campaign.”

He hoped Rowley, Seepersad-Bachan, political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner both of whom were not present at the function, would get his message.

Muradali said he wanted the conversation to change. “We do not want to continue to see what is being displayed on television sets night after night,” Muradali added. “For the national conversation to change, it requires us to sit down, to reflect and respect each other,” he went on to say. “At the end of the day, that is what we want we want, respect. When we elect persons into public office, we show them a respect by casting a vote, when you get in there show us the respect when you talk to us.”

He later wished the new council all success. As Muradali left the podium to return to his seat as citizen Navi, he was given a standing ovation and was congratulated by Rowley and Seepersad-Bachan who were among others seated in the front row.

Yesterday at 1.45 pm, Muradali took his last walk into the auditorium where the meeting was convened and following he swearing-in of aldermen Vidia Mungal Bissessar (PNM); Kevin Ratiram (COP) Junia Regrello (PNM) and Hosein (PNM).

At 2.55 pm Muradali’s seat was declared vacant and nominations began for mayor and deputy mayor. Councillor Laverne Smith, who arrived late, sat next to Rowley before leaving and slipping into her seat on stage.

Five minutes later the chain was removed by a police officer from around Muradali’s neck and placed on Hosein who received loud applause from the audience.

The newly elected mayor is the son of former mayor of San Fernando, the late Rakeeb Hosein who served the San Fernando Borough from 1983 to 1987.

In his address he said, “I know we as a council are feeling real excitement and total commitment to building a stronger and more vibrant community for the future generation. The challenges that lie ahead are many and our collective ability to address the challenges are strong.” Hosein vowed to use “every ounce of positive energy I can muster,” to serve the burgesses in San Fernando.

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