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Jan 23, 2012

Presidency to be challenged at COLA’s AGM

The grassroots organization, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is holding its annual general meeting this Saturday at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Hall on Regent Street. Over the past year COLA has been vocal on a wide range of issues affecting the country. While the re-election of officers for some organizations means placing a rubber stamp on the current administration, COLA also stands out as different. News Five spoke earlier today to COLA’s Vice President Giovanni Brackett who says he is challenging current president Moses Sulph, for the presidency of the group.

Giovanni Brackett, COLA Vice President

“This time around we have the election of officers for the executive and for various communities and also this is a time for us to gather the membership together to interact with the membership and ask where do you want COLA to go for the next year. And also we have a guest speaker, Senator Godwin Hulse. The theme we asked him to speak about is political participation. We’re trying to get some local artists to lighten up the crowd a bit. It is a good time for us to recruit membership at this time and to interact with our membership.”

Jose Sanchez

Giovanni Brackett

“I understand that you’re no longer running to be the vice-president of COLA.”

Giovanni Brackett

“That is true. I am currently vice-president, but this time around I’m contesting our present president, Moses Sulph, for the post of President. Don’t get me wrong it is not that I am trying to undermine, but I believe that in order to be a good leader first you have to be a good follower. I think I’ve displaced in any case that a post in that level is one of service and I’ve displayed that and this time I will contest him.”

Jose Sanchez

“At the outcome of this election, either you or Mr. Sulph will be in the shadows of COLA once this election is over.”

Giovanni Brackett

“We’ll be in the shadows of COLA?”

Jose Sanchez

“Not in the forefront anymore—only one of you can be president.”

Giovanni Brackett

“Definitely, of course, you can’t have two heads. Nobody functions like that. But I believe that Mister Sulph and I have a very respectable relationship and we’re friends that whichever way the election goes, we will be willing to serve each other and serve the organization. That is first and foremost. I just believe in my own perspective, couple of things needs to be addressed. I believe if I was to be the leader, one it is a time for us to re-strategize, to look at the gaps where are our strengths and our weaknesses and fill those gaps. For example we’ve been looked at as an organization—criticized by our opponents—that we jump on anything. I think that will never be fully addressed. The way we are structured allows us to take on various issues. COLA has over five hundred registered members—that was before Mister Sulph and I joined; majority has been inactive. But since under Sulph and I joined the organization, I think under his leadership we have done a lot of work in gaining momentum in some issues. There were some that we didn’t do as good. I would say that in we have in terms of active people communicating, maybe over forty that you can text and depend upon to come out and that kind of thing.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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