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Khan is new PNM chairman
Franklin Khan was yesterday elected as the new chairman of the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM), defeating the incumbent Pennelope Beckles-Robinson by three votes. It was an historic victory as it was likely to be the last time a PNM national executive was elected by the delegate system. The new executive was elected during yesterday’s 43rd annual convention of the 54-year-old party at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre. The convention approved a resolution to discontinue the delegate system of voting and replace it by the one-man, one-vote system.
The resolution was proposed by newly- elected labour relations officer, former trade unionist Jennifer Baptiste-Primus. Former councillor, Leslie Lynch, who spoke on behalf the San Fernando East constituency objected to the resolution. More than 7,000 people attended the convention, including Laventille activist and former United National Congress candidate Lennox Smith. When the election results were announced, Khan secured 330 against Beckles-Robinson’s 327. And Dr Rowley retained two former deputy political leaders, Joan Yuille-Williams (Party and Elections) and Orville London (Tobago Affairs).
He named chief whip Marlene McDonald as a new deputy political leader for legislative matters and Rohan Sinanan as deputy political leader (Policy). Rowley also announced that former attorney general Bridgid Annistette-George as the chairman of the committee to reform the party constitution and former House Speaker Barendra Sinanan to chair a committee to reform the national Constitution. In his address, Rowley said the PNM was committed to ensuring Tobago got internal self-government and that the Caribbean Court of Justice should be the final court of appeal for the people of T&T. Rowley said yesterday’s convention was the official changing of the guards in the PNM.
Rowley said the PNM was committed to celebrating the 100-birth anniversary of the party’s first leader, Dr Eric Williams this year and from today he would lead the party in a major membership drive. Meanwhile, Khan said his immediate goal was to make the party stronger. He said he was not interested in a senatorial seat at this time. He said he was prepared to build the party from Balisier House.
Lady vice-chairman—Donna Cox
General secretary—Ashton Ford
Field officer—Indar Parasram
Elections officer—Linus Rogers
Operations officer—Irene Hinds
PRO—Faris al Rawi
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