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TV6 drops anchor
Newly-appointed People’s National Movement (PNM) senator Diane Baldeo- Chadeesingh was dismissed yesterday as the TV6 weekend anchor with immediate effect. The deputy head of news at the station, Sharon Hamilton, in a telephone interview, confirmed her dismissal. “She was dismissed because there is a conflict of interest,” Hamilton said yesterday.
Hamilton said for one thing, the station was not aware that its weekend anchor was in talks with the Opposition party. “The station was not aware at all of any political plans,” she said. Hamilton said the station only found out when PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley issued a media statement naming Baldeo- Chadeesingh one of three new senators. But Baldeo-Chadeesingh, in a subsequent interview, said there was nothing sinister in her failure to communicate her move to the station.
She said as a freelance news anchor, she worked primarily through head of news Dominic Kalipersad. “But he was on vacation and I wanted him to be the first to know,” Baldeo- Chadeesingh said. “Someone who is there in his absence took it upon themselves to get back to me before I could get to them.” While she admitted she had been in talks with the PNM for some time, she said she did not have any political aspirations until recently.
“I got tired of only reading what people were saying, especially when I know I have a contribution that I could make,” she said. She said she was driven to enter politics because of the current “state of affairs.” Baldeo-Chadeesingh, who also owns a training company and is a protocol consultant, said there was no bad blood between herself and TV6 after the move. “I build bridges, I don’t burn them,” she said.
She joins Avinash Singh, who contested and lost the July 29 Chaguanas by-election against Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner, and long-time PNM member Camille Robinson-Regis in the Senate. The three will replace outgoing senators Penelope Beckles-Robinson, Fitzgerald Hinds and MP for St Joseph Terrence Deyalsingh. Rowley made the official announcement yesterday, just two days after a T&T Guardian exclusive broke the news that party stalwart Beckles would be replaced in the Senate.
Singh did not respond to calls but posted a statement on the social networking site Facebook thanking Rowley for the “opportunity to serve in the capacity.” “His record continues to be proven and his leadership credible.
This opportunity reaffirms his commitment to young people and it will give a voice to thousands of citizens and in particular farmers, especially in central Trinidad, who now have representation in the Upper House of our Parliament,” he wrote. Robinson-Regis initially said she could not speak and asked to be called back within an hour and a half when contacted yesterday, but did not answer or return later calls.
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