The People’s National Movement (PNM) is gearing up for two elections this year. Following the party’s general council meeting yesterday, acting Chairman, Robert Le Hunte said party groups have been asked to submit nominations for the Local Government Election with immediate effect.
“We have set a deadline date of June 30 for those nominations to close, at which time screening will then begin,” he said
Speaking at a news conference at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain, Le Hunte said the PNM will also be holding internal party elections. That process will begin on May 1 and continue until the end of August.
Le Hunte said traditionally the party would not hold internal elections in the same year as other elections, “but this year, because we will be going into back-to-back elections, we think it is not democratic to have an executive in place for that length of time.”
General Secretary Foster Cummings said all members in good financial standing will be allowed to participate in the internal election.
“It starts at the party level and we will also be electing new executives for all of the constituencies. We have already had elections for the national executive, so this election is restricted to party groups and constituency groups,” he explained.
The cut-off date for members to ensure they are registered with the party to participate in the internal election is May 1.
Le Hunte also announced that the PNM’s annual family day will be held on July 14 at Phase 6, La Horquetta. He said the party was not overly concerned about going to that location although there had been murders in that area in the last two weeks.
Noting that crime continues a concern for the party, he added: “As regards the safety of individuals at La Horquetta, we feel that area is a fairly safe area. There will always be criminal elements but we have no concerns or reservations in taking our family day to that particular area in spite of what happens.”
As part of the thrust to modernize the party, he said the PNM has launched a new membership database which is operational.
The next in PNM’s series of public meetings takes place on Tuesday at the Barataria Government School where Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley is expected to deliver the feature address.
Party supporters are being urged to contribute to the new Balisier House which is currently under construction by buying a brick.
Confirming a directive from party leader Dr Keith Rowley, Le Hunte said: “This has to be a building for the people and he has commissioned the General Secretary to put a process in place to ensure that we get members involved via the buy-a-brick process whereby everyone—all the members of the PNM—an feel that they own this building.”
Le Hunte said the basement had been already been completed.
Introducing the tagline “Every brick counts,” Le Hunte added:” “This is going to to be a building for the membership of the PNM.”
He said this latest fundraiser would supplement funds already collected via the PNM’s grand car raffle last year. He was unable to state exactly how much money had been raised via the raffle but said the funds “had gone a long way.”
The 5-storey building will include underground parking and is expected to provide office space for party operations, as well as rental spaces which will enable the party to generate steady cash flow.
The current Balisier House is to be refurbished and used as a museum and archive library.