You are here
PNM press to retake Volney’s St Joseph in General Elections
The PNM’s St Joseph constituency has started mobilising to press for UNC MP Herbert Volney to resign and for the party to retake the seat the next general elections. This was confirmed by PNM’s coordinator for the unit, Robert Le Hunte, following a recent constituency conference where feature speaker, PNM Senate leader Penelope Beckles-Robinson told members: “Volney must step down as MP.”
Beckles said “an unsatisfactory state of affairs” has befallen the constituency with Volney’s removal as Minister of Justice on September 20. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired Volney for misrepresenting information to the Cabinet on the controversial Section 34 issue.
Volney last week said he is no longer under the People’s Partnership (PP) whip and is now an independent UNC MP. He said he had no plans to resign and constituents are supportive of him becoming an independent MP.
At the PNM’s St Joseph conference, however, Beckles said it was the PP, who on the campaign trail, made a commitment to put a mechanism in place to recall any MP who, for one reason or the other, failed to perform. She said the constituency is now being represented by someone whom the Prime Minister deemed unfit to hold a Cabinet post and was subsequently dismissed.
Beckles is now contesting the lady vice chairmanship in the upcoming PNM party elections. She said St Joseph did not deserve to be represented by someone who misled the Prime Minister, the DPP, the Cabinet and the people on the Section 34 issue.
Conference participants passed a resolution calling on Volney to do the honourable thing and resign his seat in the House of Representatives forthwith. The resolution stated that Volney’s actions “had caused an erosion of confidence in his ability to represent the area in the Parliament.”
PNM deputy leader Joan Yuille-Williams told the audience that PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley had called on the Prime Minister to call elections. She therefore advised St Joseph PNMites that they must be ready and be on an election footing especially as this turn of events with Volney may well signal the return of the St Joseph constituency to the PNM. Members pledged to work to make this a reality.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, Le Hunte said the unit was dormant since PNM lost the seat to Volney in 2010 general elections but was reactivated a month ago. “We now have an MP whom the Prime Minister basically said did not give the correct facts so the word ‘honourable’ you use for an MP cannot be ascribed to him. The honourable thing then is to remove himself from the seat.”
Saying he supported Beckles, Le Hunte added: “Our next step is to meet the (PNM) leadership about St Joseph to get the full backing of the PNM in our call for Volney to resign. Since our leader called on the PP to call elections, our constituency is now on election footing as far as we’re concerned. We work to suit.”
Asked if he would resign his seat, Volney has said: “ That’s not something I’m contemplating. The PNM might want that to be able to test the political waters. But it isn’t happening, not on my watch.” On possible repercussions to the coalition government from his going independent, Volney said he was confident the PP would go its full term and would be returned to office in the next general elections.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.