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PNM changes must be more than cosmetic

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dr Keith Rowley’s attempt, through his recall and new appointments of senators, to transform and burnish the monochrome image of the PNM, so as at least to give the impression of a party representative of the major political elements of the country, is in itself commendable.


But the changes effected by Dr Rowley also raise questions. By removing long-standing PNM MP and former minister Ms Pennelope Beckles-Robinson from the Senate, Dr Rowley automatically faces the charge that it was a transparent means of taking away a platform from a prospective challenger for leadership of the PNM in 2014. His protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the public perception will linger. 


Moreover, Dr Rowley will be seen to have sidelined Ms Beckles-Robinson in a heavy-handed and undemocratic manner no different from what was done by his predecessor Patrick Manning, whom he charged with dictatorial tendencies. And the present PNM leader would be seen as having got there even without becoming prime minister.


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