Rodger Samuel

Former Congress of the People Arima MP Rodger Samuel, who’s resigned from the COP, has now submitted a nomination to contest Arima for the United National Congress in forthcoming general elections.

And former COP MP Lincoln Douglas says he’s open to talks with the UNC or the People’s National Movement after he resigned from the COP recently.

Former Arima MP Samuel said yesterday, he resigned from the COP in February and is currently finalising UNC membership processes. However, he hasn’t yet been screened for Arima.

Samuel, a COP MP during the 2010- 2015 term of the People’s Partnership government, lost in 2015 to PNM’s Anthony Garcia. Samuel was among those who’d attended former UNC leader Basdeo Panday’s meeting of parties earlier this year. Samuel hadn’t been politically active but he said he’d been assisting to train COP members during Local Government elections.

On resigning from the COP, Samuel said, “I tried my best and tried to assist when some people asked. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

Samuel said he’s been encouraged by UNC’s economic recovery plan and impressed with the party’s carried its fight on T&T’s behalf.

“I’m also heartened to see how much that party has done to help thousands of people with COVID-19 relief,” he said.

On the reason for his returning to active politics, Samuel said he wants to continue the work the PP administration did in Arima.

“Nothing’s happened since I left in 2015. The only thing the PNM did was continue the Arima Hospital project which we started. However, the plan’s been changed. We catered for same-day surgeries and other plans. I’m also interested in continuing the Blanchisseuse Nature Drive plan we had. The road is very bad now.”

Meanwhile, former COP member Douglas yesterday said he feels he has a responsibility to serve the country although he resigned from the COP. The former Lopinot-Bon Air West MP said he’d made his reason for leaving COP clear recently, that he felt the COP was in demise.

“We’d been trying to make this work but elections are coming and nothing was happening so I decided to (resign) now,” Douglas said.

“It wasn’t because I’m ‘going to the UNC’ or anywhere like some may think. But I’m quite open to talks with the UNC – or even the PNM- or any party that wishes to talk to me if it is that they want to do something better for T&T.’’

UNC sources also said there are other people with former COP backgrounds who may be in the running for East-West corridor areas.