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Sunday 18 November 2018
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Top COP leaders tender resignation

YESTERDAY’S resignation of top leaders of the Congress of the People (COP) – political leader Anirudh Mahabir, general secretary Clyde Weatherhead and deputy leader Lorraine Pouchet – has created a void that is best filled by Sunday’s leadership election, said candidate and former chairman, Nicole Dyer-Griffith, speaking with Newsday yesterday.

A document on the internet attributed to Mahabir and Weatherhead said the trio had resigned due to frustration at a lawsuit begun last week against them by one Kirt Francis, despite the trio’s hard work towards a resolution.

The statement said that last week Francis challenged the candidacy of Dyer-Griffith and the right to vote of 34 members.

“We are extremely disappointed that despite our best efforts all through the weekend and up to yesterday, no mutually acceptable resolution was found.

“The membership of the party has mandated that the election take place in the manner that was agreed. However, we have been sued and have been placed in the ‘firing line’ before the court.” The statement said the trio had received a threat of further legal action if they don’t postpone the elections.

“We have been placed in an untenable position between warring factions, and are both saddened and frustrated that we are being brought to the court despite all of our hard work and the support that we have given to the party.

“Elections are not won through the courts, but through the will of the people.

“We have therefore, with utmost regret, both resigned with immediate effect from any positions we have held in the Congress of the People.” Mahabir and Weatherhead said their attorneys Darrell Allahar and Rajkavir Singh will ask the court to dismiss Francis’ application and to strike out the entire proceedings, if he proceeds with his litigation.

Dyer-Griffith was confident the election would go ahead unimpeded by either these resignations or by threats of legal action by persons questioning the validity of her candidacy, the issue at the heart of this matter.

“The Election Commission is an independent body of the organisation, so therefore they would have the power to proceed with the election unless of course they are otherwise instructed by a court of law.’ “I see no other way forward.

There is a vacuum and it must be filled so it is incumbent on the organisation to be afforded the opportunity to be able to vote for a potential leader to come forward and for the membership to rebuild the organisation.” Dyer-Griffith lamented the resignations, saying Mahabir, Weatherhead and Pouchett had sacrificed and given their all for the organisation, even as some who are now fighting in court had been nowhere to be found.

“They have tried every angle to maintain the integrity of the organisation.

They have given as much as any human could be asked to give.

“However we need to continue to move forward and to ensure the members are afforded the right to vote for whomsoever they choose.”

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