A legal battle is brewing over the financial information provided to Parliament last week about payment made to attorneys by the Ministry of the Attorney General for legal and other technical/profe
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‘Team Penny’ member: 3,500 names still out
While some “Team Penny” supporters have been added to the PNM’s final voting list, that doesn’t include the 3,500 names which the team made representation for last week, says Team Penny member Ronald Boynes. Boynes said yesterday his team was still checking the final list for the PNM’s May 18 internal election. The list was approved by the party’s General Council on Thursday night. The preliminary list of 79,363 names was increased to 81, 529.
Last Thursday Team Penny members met with the PNM’s Elections Commission on issues including the exclusion of a number of names from the list. MP Nileung Hypolite said the group later followed the instructions of commission members and made written representation for over 3,500 people whose names were attached in the letter. He said those people had applied online, before the February 28 membership deadline, and “for one reason or another may not have been on the preliminary list.”
The letter was dropped at the PNM’s head office last Monday, the deadline for submission. But after the final list was revealed, Boyne said while some supporters had been added to the list, he wasn’t picking up names from the 3,500 bulk application on it. He said it so far seemed those people didn’t get on the list, but by today the position would be clear. Yesterday leadership challenger Pennelope Beckles-Robinson said the team was checking the situation thoroughly first before deciding on its next step.
She said she couldn’t comment at that point on whether they might take legal action to halt the election if they had concerns about the list. Team Penny member Cagney Cassimire, who attended Thursday’s council meeting, was also unable to confirm whether the group’s 3,500 supporters had been added to the list. Cassimire said where his area of Arima is concerned, the increase between the preliminary and final lists is only 50 members.
“It’s difficult to tell since we’re dealing with only numbers, not names. They commission didn’t qualify where the additional 2,000-plus names came from,” Cassimire said. “Each candidate will have to go through the list and check to see if names are on it. Or it’s only when people go to vote perhaps they will know if they can vote or not. One can’t vote even if you have a party card—you must be on the voting list,” he added.
Cassimire also envisioned other election-day problems for voters. Since there is only one polling division per constituency, teams will have to hire transport to get their supporters out or people will have to travel to the station in their constituency to vote. He said the reason given for having only one poling station per constituency was due to the software involved in the exercise.