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Beckles, Cox in battle for PNM lady vice chairman
Leading PNM female politicians, Senate leader Penny Beckles and MP Donna Cox are looking forward to victory in the contest for the position as lady vice chairman in tomorrow’s internal party elections. Cox is the incumbent lady vice chairman. The internal election is part of the PNM’s annual convention to be held for the first time at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.
PNM general secretary Ashton Ford said the convention’s morning session will involve speeches and reports. Election of officers is from noon to 2.30 pm. The main contest is the battle for the lady vice chairmanship between incumbent Cox and challenger Beckles. Ford confirmed that again to the T&T Guardian.
Other offices being contested are youth officer male and female, welfare, labour relations welfare and education officers. Beckles said recently she was contesting the post at the request from party members. “I look forward to victory. I’ve headed the Women’s League in Arima for ten years and served in the league for 20 years and on the executive in other posts from welfare officer to PRO and education officer. So I’m experienced in many levels of party mobilisation.
“Women are the PNM’s backbone and we need strong leadership. I think the time is right to contest the post to strengthen the party as we move into gear to face elections next year from THA polls to local government and general elections. It’s a good time to get the league ready,” Beckles said.
Cox is seeking re-election, hoping she’ll be given a chance to continue training PNM women for politics. “I know my work will speak for me. I have a track record of hard work, commitment to the party and the leader, and I hope I’ll be able to continue the work I started. My campaign theme is Continuing to the Next Level. The programmes I’ve started range from preparing women for governance roles, from protocol to physical profile, and to let them know it is hard work. I try to let them know the real picture.
“I’ve also pioneered seminars to acquaint members with issues from domestic abuse and otherwise. We don’t want women to be a token part of a team, we want women who can do the job, and I’ve started programmes geared towards this,” Cox said. Ford said PNM leader Keith Rowley will speak around 5 pm tomorrow.
PNM vice chairman Camille Robinson-Regis will deliver a report on the state of the party and PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi will speak on the legislative process. Asked if PNM’s new friends from the labour sector and other groups will attend, Ford said he didn’t know.
The San Fernando East constituency executive has denied claims that so-called Manning loyalists were seeking posts. Abigail Cox, secretary of San Fernando East, said, “There is no ‘Manning loyalist’ team. I don’t know where you all get those ideas from. We support everyone and we’re all attending Sunday’s convention. There are no slates we’re aware of.”
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