Past concerns that Congress of the People (COP) political leader Winston Dookeran had been selected, and not elected, into the leadership of the United National Congress (UNC) more than two years ago have now followed him into the party he founded, even though it gained 148,000 votes in the last general election.
Dookeran's leadership style is being directly challenged by one of the COP's frontline members and Port of Spain North/St Ann's West candidate in the last general election, Gary Griffith.
Griffith had written a letter to Dookeran that strongly criticised the COP political leader's leadership style about two weeks ago.
"Winston Dookeran has become a law unto himself," Griffith said in an interview with the Express this weekend.
"Our political leader was selected rather than elected and we need to have some electoral process to have the full support of the 148,000. I don't think we can get an extra vote with Winston Dookeran as the political leader," Griffith also said.
He said the COP's constitution only provided for an interim executive until the holding of its internal elections which are done sometime in the middle of this year.
"It was decided upon that because of the general election that was upcoming, that executive will operate in that manner until the internal election will be due within a year's time of the appointment of the interim executive, which will be in the middle of this year," Griffith said
Contacted by the Express, Dookeran said while he would not comment on any specific aspect of Griffith's claims, all of the COP's members were moving forward towards the goal of attaining a victory in Local Government elections due by July of this year.
"And we are proceeding very well and there are lots of people who are working and working at all levels, from the bottom level to the top level of the COP all over the country," Dookeran said.
Dookeran won the UNC political leadership unopposed while he belonged to the party during its internal election in October, 2005 but never become Opposition Leader.
This, among other factors, led to his forming the COP on the mantra of what he calls "new politics."
He said the COP is continuing to build on its founding principles of integrity in all our institutions, transcending all divisions in the society and advocating serious social reform.
"We are working to keep that alive and I am doing my part to ensure that happens," Dookeran said.
In response to Dookeran's comments, Griffith said, "For him to say that we are moving forward and everything is working well, that is a figment of his imagination."
Griffith said that Dookeran, as the COP political leader, has set up several parallel groups that are taking their instructions from him without any input from the executive.
Griffith told the Express the COP faithful must shift its focus to the party's internal elections which are due at around the same time as the Local Government elections.
Griffith said that while he had informed Dookeran that he is no longer willing to chair the COP national security council until its internal elections are held, no one should interpret his actions as indication that the COP is falling apart.
Now we can simply figure out who was the mischief maker in the UNC executive.
Now we can figure out who was givin the press all the confidential info on the goin ons in NAtex.
He come wid the same fockery wid the COP.
Anyhow all the bachannal comin to light. And oh! Dookeran is ah dictator????
Papa I didnt even know that.
Fockin wa goes around comes around.