Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 23rd 2014 Contents A8
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After retaining chairmanship
of People s National Movement s
(PNM) Arima Women s League
unit on Thursday, Pennelope
Beckles-Robinson says she will
offer herself as a 2015 general
election candidate for the party.
Beckles-Robinson revealed her
intention while addressing the
women s league s election of offi-
cers conference at the PNM s
Arima office on Gunapo Street.
She also confirmed this in an inter-
view with the T&T Guardian after
Beckles-Robinson, who had
chaired the women s unit before,
was re-elected to the post in a vote
of 102 to 13. She defeated Hillary
Bernard, a councillor who is public
relations officer of PNM s National
Women s League.
Women s League members said
Beckles-Robinson told the meeting
she would offer herself as a general
election candidate. They said she
also dispelled rumours that she
was "leaving the PNM and forming
her own party."
The election to the post of chair-
man for the Arima Women s
League was Beckles-Robinson s
first victory after her May defeat
for elections for the post of PNM
leader. This was retained by
incumbent Dr Keith Rowley.
Beckles-Robinson had chaired
the Arima Women s League for
almost a decade before. She also
serves on the executive of PNM s
After Thursday s meeting, a
buoyant Beckles-Robinson said,
"There was a good attendance for
the meeting, traditionally we have
a good turnout but we ve shown
in Arima that we have a lot of sup-
port. It s a good indication for gen-
eral elections, as the women are
the backbone of the PNM.
"I m happy the (women) gave
that support, particularly following
the results of the party s recent
internal (leadership) election.
Asked if she has been working
in the constituency after the inter-
nal election and if she is interacting
with Elvin Edwards, who was
appointed---after the leadership
elections---to be co-ordinator of
the constituency, Beckles-Robin-
son said she is on the Arima exec-
utive and Edwards was very much
part of the operation.
"So we meet when there are
executive elections, I m lady vice
chairman of Arima s constituency
executive and work with all
PNMites in the area, including the
mayor and corporation."
On claims she and members of
her former Team Penny (which
contested the internal poll) were
ostracised by the hierarchy and
may leave the PNM or "park up,"
she said, "I remain firmly com-
mitted to the PNM. I m out there
working for the party and doing
my part to ensure the PNM does
well in Arima."
Asked if she was interested in
election candidacy, Beckles-Robin-
son noted the PNM s General
Council very recently announced
it would start screening for can-
didates for 12 seats, but not Arima
yet.She added, "Arima isn t in the
first lot, but when the time comes
and Arima is called and if there s
support, then sure I ll offer myself.
But I m not working on that yet,
as the current focus is on con-
stituency elections and for elec-
tions of other units."
On how she dealt with the fall-
out following the May leadership
elections, Beckles-Robinson said,
"The election is over but when
one enters such contests, one does
People s National Movement s San-
gre Grande co-ordinator Rohan
Sinanan says an altercation outside
a PNM Youth League meeting on
Monday---when police were sum-
moned---had nothing to do with the
Sinanan, a deputy PNM leader, was
asked about the situation yesterday,
after PNMites reported that two people
had an alleged "pushing" match involv-
ing a "head butt" in a tented area next
to the PNM s Foster Road constituency
office, where election of Youth League
officers was in progress.
It was alleged the people involved
were mobilising support for candidates
in the election. Reports are that one
person had to defend himself against
an alleged attack by another and police
were called in.
PNM Sangre Grande chairman
Cuthbert Pierre said whatever occurred
was outside the meeting and it could
well be that people supporting others
in the election were involved. But he
said he would have to confirm this,
since a bar was located opposite the
office and many people had been in
Pierre said he was aware of police
outside dealing with the situation and
they remained there for "quite a while."
The police had enquired if everything
inside the meeting was under control.
No arrests were made.
Pierre said whenever an issue
occurred it was investigated, reported
upon and action taken if necessary.
Sinanan subsequently said the matter
was investigated and it was found that
the people involved in the alleged alter-
cation were not Youth League members
and the incident had nothing to do
with the League, but might have
involved people associated with League
A guest at
hosted by the Prime
Minister took to the
stage during the
performance of Neval
Chatelal, left, at the
Diplomatic Centre in
PHOTO COURTESY THE
OFFICE OF THE PRIME
so knowing only one person can win
and that others may lose, so we knew
very well there was a possibility of los-
ing. If you approach it like that, there s
no reason to be angry or negative about
"My loyalty has been and always
will be to the PNM. I remain commit-
ted to the party and helping the leader
and leadership, particularly for the 2015
general elections," she said.
Asked when last she interacted with
Rowley, Beckles-Robinson said she
went to the Parliament for the Lower
House debate on the Constitution
(Amendment) Bill to support the PNM
and leadership on the issue.
Penny wins post in landslide
...offering herself as PNM 2015 election candidate
PNM chairman Franklin Khan, at
the party's south meeting on
Monday, said the party is now
seeking candidates for Diego Martin
West, Couva South, Chaguanas
East, Caroni Central, Pt Fortin, San
Fernando West, Mayaro, Pointe-a-
Pierre, St Joseph, Fyzabad and
Tobago East and West.
PNM sources yesterday said no
preparations are yet in the works
for contenders for Arima, though
they noted Arima mayor George
Hadeed may be among those
expected in the mix.
Yesterday, Hadeed said, "I haven't
given it (contesting) any thought.
Whenever the time comes, then I'll
probably consider it. We know the
time will come very soon, so in the
meantime I'm concentrating on my
work as mayor."
On the PNM's chances
considering the fragmentation
within the Congress of the
People---whose Rodger Samuel is
Arima MP---Hadeed said,"Whether
they have fragmentation or not,
PNM is taking Arima by storm.
We're mobilising in all
constituencies, but we're
particularly determined to return
Arima to the PNM fold in 2015 or if
elections come sooner."
GEORGE FOR ARIMA?
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