As several Commonwealth Caribbean countries celebrate Emancipation Day tomorrow, it is important to locate the significance of the emotions felt on such an occasion, especially in relation to the...
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Rowley not fazed by legal challenge
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says he is not fazed by any possible legal challenge to postpone Sunday’s national executive election of the PNM. He said so in response to the possibility of legal action being taken by his opponent Pennelope Beckles-Robinson to postpone the historic elections. She told a news conference of her slate of candidates on Wednesday about a meeting with a Senior Counsel to look at all her team’s options in the wake of certain concerns, including the rejection of 4,000 people whose online membership applications were rejected and the non-availability of the final voters’ list to all candidates on her team.
Rowley told reporters yesterday at his final news conference before Sunday’s election, he would “simply be disappointed if they choose to do that as an alternative to trying to impress party members.” Rowley said the PNM was “ready, willing and able to defend its processes in any court of law so we are not fazed by threats of that nature.” Dealing with the issue of the voters’ list, Rowley said the general council decided that one copy each would be available at party headquarters, the San Fernando regional office and in Tobago. “So it would be wrong for any person to say that we have a secret list to go into an election,” he added.
He also said the list was available in the 41 constituencies across the country which was unprecedented. “Never before was a list of party members eligible to vote ever made available for any previous national executive election. That was because the executive was elected via a delegate system,” he noted. Sunday will be the first time in the party’s 58-year history that its executive will be elected under a one-man, one-vote system. More than 80,000 members are eligible to vote, Rowley said, adding that even members who were not financial will be allowed to vote.
He said it was “quite wrong” for members who had participated in the process to now “bad-mouth” it. Rowley insisted that he, the party, the Elections Supervisory Committee and the country were ready for Sunday’s elections. He called on members to participate and to expect results from about 10 pm. Polling stations will open at 8 am and close at 6 pm.