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The People’s National Movement (PNM) is expected to appoint an international liaison officer to the party’s executive by the end of the year. The position will link PNM supporters throughout the diaspora—New York, Miami, Toronto—to the party headquarters in Trinidad. Party chairman Franklin Khan announced the position at yesterday’s post-general council press briefing at Balisier House, Woodbrook. He also denied that Rowley made the trip to New York in order to secure funding for the party in the build-up to the elections.
“Well, obviously, he speaks to business people and there are people in the international diaspora that may want to make contributions to the party and we welcome that once it is clean money,” he said. Khan said the amended constitution allowed for the new executive liaison position. “That person will officially sit ex-officio on the general council. This is really to pull in the PNM diaspora from all over the world,” he said. He said “functioning” party groups already existed in New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto and London.
“There is even a request to open one in Ghana,” Khan said. Khan said under the party’s old constitution there was no mechanism in place to co-ordinate the international arm of the PNM.
“Once we put this position in place, we will also have a Web-based payment system scenario for international members and the diaspora to pay. We can charge them, and I am saying this off the cuff, we can charge them US$100 a year, and we can have thousands of people in the international cities paying and that is a tremendous resource base,” he said. Despite speculation on social media that Rowley’s meetings were poorly attended, Khan said one meeting was “standing room only” and had over 300 attendees in New York.
“It was a trip worth the while,” Khan said, adding that Rowley was also invited to London for a similar speaking visit.