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PNM gets businessmen to organise convention
Businessmen Andrew Gabriel and Howard Chin Lee, one-time PNM minister, were among those who headed production efforts at Sunday’s PNM convention at the Grand Stand of the Queen’s Park Savannah. At the convention PNM leader Keith Rowley singled out Gabriel for thanks for organising the event.
Chin Lee and Gabriel, an insurance company executive, were among the group of production officials on the sidelines. Yesterday PNM general secretary Ashton Ford said Gabriel was on a three-member organising team. Ford, who headed the team, said Gabriel was in charge of production matters including handling the televising of the last two-and-a-half hours of the convention.
PNM treasurer Mariano Browne said the cost of broadcasting the segment on TV6 and CNC3 and one radio station was less than the reported $260,000 the People’s Partnership paid to broadcast its pre-budget rally at Chaguanas recently.
The Grand Stand, where the party held its convention for the first time, was not full for the event. During the afternoon session, just before Rowley’s addresss, house announcers called on attendees to move from the outskirts of the Grand Stand to occupy the middle section. A large boom (moveable overhead) camera filmed the audience and crowd reactions during the televised segment.
Ford said the day’s headcount was 6,045 people. He said there were 653 general council members and delegates, 379 guests and the others were observers. PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi said the Grand Stand could accommodate about 8,000 people. Rowley, in his address, said it would not be the last time the PNM convenes at the Grand Stand.
The programme featured a video on the Section 34 issue with lawyer Justin Phelps. Al-Rawi said Phelps had concerns about the Section 34 issue and had volunteered. Phelps, who was one of several lawyers involved in the Clico Commission of Enquiry, defending Clico company secretary Gita Sakal, did not answer calls yesterday regarding his involvement with the PNM.
The convention also featured a video on Rowley which sought to enhance his public appeal. Ford also commented on cell phone comments Cox had been making while people voted for the lady vice chairmanship, which Cox lost to Pennelope Beckles.
He said: “People must learn not to take things personally. Look at Dr Rowley: he lost to Mr Manning in the leadership contest in the 1990s and he is now leader of the party.” Cox did not answer calls yesterday.
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