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May 18- PNM internal elections
The People’s National Movement internal elections will be held on May 18. Party chairman Franklin Khan made the announcement after yesterday’s general council meeting at Balisier House, Woodbrook, adding that this is the first internal elections to utilise the ‘one man, one vote’ system and not the original delegate system. “Putting this one man, one vote election in place will take some effort, it will take some time. It is something new to the PNM membership, and it calls for a lot of infrastructure to be put in place,” Khan said.
Khan, flanked by PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi and general secretary Ashton Ford, said the party was already “in election mode.” This election is expected to pit PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley against longtime member and former senator Penelope Beckles-Robinson, who has hinted that she would try for the post. Khan, Ford and Al-Rawi did not say who would contest the entire slate, but each said they would vie for the posts they hold now.
The final list of contenders, Khan said, would only be known at the close of nomination day, March 14. “The cut off for new membership, people joining the PNM who would be eligible to vote, would be February 28. “We hope to have a preliminary list of members by April 14 and final list of electors will be published on April 30, that is the timeline that we have,” he said. A special general council meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss rules and regulations of the internal elections.
Khan said Rowley was planning to continue his constituency tours this week in Arima and Diego Martin. He will continue next month in San Fernando and Fyzabad. The party, Khan said, planned to open two new regional offices in Couva and Arima, within the first quarter of this year. The party would also be promoting its “Vision 2030” proposal, which Khan said was the PNM’s plan once they get into Government. Al-Rawi moved away from the elections to highlight the Government’s inability to deal with the crime situation.
“If you are dealing with a limping, lame duck Government as we have now, in shambles and chaos, we must be in a position to present our policy, our process and our people to the citizens of T&T,” he said.