THE Congress of the People (COP) may be considered irrelevant by some, dead by others, but its political leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan is confident the former People’s Partnership coalition member can re-energise its base in time to successfully contest all 41 seats in the 2020 general election.
Addressing the media on Sunday after the first of the party’s roving constituency meetings, this one held at the St Augustine South Community Centre, Freeman Road, St Augustine, Seepersad-Bachan recalled the COP did exactly that in the 2007 general election, having been established in September 2006.
“I would agree that the party had gone into a dormant state for a while. That happened but nothing is wrong with revitalising, rebranding and picking up the pieces and moving forward. I cannot predict what will happen in 2020, but at this point in time the COP is preparing itself to fight elections in all 41 constituencies.”
Acknowledging the party has work to do to rebuild its support base, Seepersad-Bachan said the focus now is on “re-connecting with the members of our party and rebuilding the trust and confidence in the COP.” Turning to what sets them apart from other political parties in TT, she announced the establishment of a three-person governance board, led by interim chairman Petra Bridgemohan – former director of the TT Transparency Institute. The two other members will be selected in the coming weeks. “We are going to be signing up something called an integrity pact.
“You will be audited by this governance board and when you are found to be violating any of these principles, you will be asked to step down from public office.”
In other news, Seepersad-Bachan expressed concern about government’s recent invitation to India to have its health practitioners provide healthcare training at the Couva Children’s Hospital.
“We want to remind the government of TT that you have a number of young doctors who cannot find jobs. And I have a serious problem with that, (having) served as a former minister of public administration, where we planned and we provided a number of training programmes for young doctors to get into post-graduate degrees, fellowship programmes, to allow young doctors to become specialists so that they can take up the various positions in our health sector in TT.”