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Saturday 22 September 2018
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Dookeran: We fought a good fight

Will Winston Dookeran remain leader of the Congress of the People (COP)?

That was the big question on everyone’s mind after he lost his St Augustine seat in yesterday’s General Election.

Last night an emotional Dookeran was tightlipped with the press and refused to give interviews after delivering a speech in which he conceded the party’s defeat. Dookeran called this year’s result, “disappointing” but went on to assert that the COP will have life after the General Election despite its failure to win a single seat.

Dookeran lost to the UNC Alliance’s Vasant Bharath. The PNM’s candidate was Nadra Nathai- Gyan.

Bharath last night commended Dookeran for putting up “a fantastic fight” but was glad the people of St Augustine gave him a chance. First on his agenda was to address the issue of land tenure of his constituents and the constituency’s drainage problems.

Dookeran was greeted with tears, applause and the chant, “Winston! Winston! Winston!” on arriving at the COP headquarters at Gaston Courts, Chaguanas.

After a brief meeting with party officials, including COP chairman Roy Augustus, Dookeran conceded defeat.

“We fought a good fight,” he said to rousing applause. “We must be proud that we made a notable effort to offer our country a change...let us not consider this the darkest day in our country...for now the politics of the past has won but tomorrow I know that we are right and it will happen.”

“This battle is lost but we will continue to fight to make our country what we want it to be,” he said.

Dookeran went on to declare that the COP had “unfinished business” but noted that the party will continue on its mandate “after some deliberation as to how we can make that happen.”

Augustus agreed that with Dookeran losing his seat the leadership of the COP was now an issue.

He said however it would be largely up to Dookeran himself to determine who will lead the party over the next five years. He went on to endorse Dookeran to remain as leader.

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