Those who didn’t win in yesterday’s People’s National Movement’s (PNM’s) internal elections should “come again”.
This was the advice extended by outgoing PNM chairman, Finance Minister Colm Imbert when he addressed delegates and observers at yesterday’s morning segment of the PNM’s 50th convention at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.
The results will be announced today, Imbert told the convention.
The third and final day of voting in the PNM’s internal election took place from 8 am to 1 pm.
Speaking in the morning ahead of the results, Imbert noted the number of candidates in the election. He said it was quite a keenly contested one.
“So it should be,” he said.
Imbert said some candidates would win and some would lose. To those who win, he extended best wishes and heartiest congratulations. To those who lose, “I’d say come again.”
Imbert noted that Rowley first contested the PNM’s leadership in 1996 but became the PNM leader in 2010, 14 years later. Imbert gave that as an example of perseverance, persistence and focus.
Imbert also said that every day one saw and heard “all sorts of things” being thrown at “us members of the PNM”.
“People don’t pelt a tree with green mangoes - and that’s the reason,” he said.
Imbert said members should never be afraid to answer the PNM’s critics.
“Silence is not an option,” he added.
He noted it was an option long ago but not in these times of social media, including Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.
Imbert who said the PNM won the 2015 election “against all odds”, noted the operation by leader Dr Keith Rowley during the 2010- 2015 period when the PNM created its policies and assembled its team.
He argued that was what led to the 2015 victory and later again in 2020.
“That’s one of the main reasons why they’re so jealous as it’s not easy to be in Opposition for 10 years...or 15 or 20 years for that matter.”
Imbert recounted his history with the PNM when he joined the party in 1986 when the PNM had three seats to the National Alliance for Reconstruction’s (NAR’s) 33. He noted the PNM came back from that to win in 1991 under late leader Patrick Manning.
“Those were exciting times,” he said adding he was in his 30s.
Imbert said the PNM’s 1995 loss didn’t daunt them, noting that they fought back and returned again in other elections including up to 2007, and after the PNM’s 2010 defeat, returned in 2015.
“This is a demonstration of the indomitable resilient spirit of the People’s National Movement - they can’t beat us!”