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Election rules breached says PNM challenger

Sunday, April 20, 2014
Pennelope Beckles-Robinson

The team supporting Pennelope Beckles-Robinson in the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) May 18 internal elections yesterday repeated their ultimatum over the party’s voters list, insisting they want to ensure there is full compliance with the rules and regulations.


“If the deadline passes we will consider our options, it’s a reasonable request and if they’re prepared to be unreasonable we will take steps and ensure we get the full comprehensive list,” attorney Ronald Boynes, an attorney and member of the Beckles-Robinson team said yesterday. He said Balisier House has until 4 pm tomorrow to comply with the ultimatum or face possible legal action.


Boynes said the list contained the full contact details of potential voters and was worthwhile and relevant to Team Beckles-Robinson in their efforts to canvas, campaign and convince people to vote for them. He said the continued refusal to provide the complete list at Balisier House and the party’s subregional offices is a breach of the rules and a mockery of the process. 


Laventille West MP Nileung Hypolite, the team’s logistical officer, said they can provide documentation to show that the procedure was stacked in favour of incumbent political leader Dr Keith Rowley who is being challenged by Beckles-Robinson. 



Hypolite said there were glaring discrepancies with some 7,000 people disenfranchised from the voting process. He said the team could account for 1,900 of those people. He said they had their forms filled out online, registered and paid their $5 registration fees which was sent to Balisier House in cash.


Balisier House officials have said that the preliminary voters list is out in constituencies and members have until Thursday to make adjustments, additions or fix issues before the final list is done on April 30. They said the 7,000 people who were rejected from the preliminary list can regularise their status before the final list is done on April 30. The preliminary list for the PNM’s new one-man-one-vote system comprises 79,363 people. In the previous internal election, 800 people were eligible to vote by the old delegate system.


Issues with the voters list first surfaced last week when general secretary Ashton Ford claimed there were several irregularities.


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