Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2014 Contents Members of the BP Marionettes Chorale perform during a special concert for
underprivileged children, titled Christmas Peace, at Queen's Hall, St Ann's, over the
weekend. PHOTO: MARLON ROUSE
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 08TH DECEMBER, 2014
The stand-off in People s National
Movement s San Fernando East con-
stituency has deepened after PNM general
secretary Ashton Ford officially informed
the unit yesterday that it has until Decem-
ber 22 to submit nominations for candi-
This despite an appeal by the unit and
MP Patrick Manning to extend the deadline
to January 2.
After Ford s letter was received yesterday,
San Fernando East PRO Anthony Clarke
said the unit had, in a letter to the party
last Friday, pointed out that its San Fer-
nando office would be closed from Decem-
ber 19 and thus unable to conduct business
until January 2 when it reopened.
Clarke said that was still the position up
to yesterday and the unit was still hoping
for a change of the December 22 deadline.
Ford, however, said he sent written noti-
fication yesterday to the unit about the
December 22 deadline. He said the date
was announced by PNM leader Dr Keith
Rowley at last Saturday s General Council
and San Fernando East was present.
Asked about the letter seeking the deferral
sent by the constituency, Ford said if the
San Fernando East unit wanted to release
the letter to the T&T Guardian they could
do so but he declined details
But Ford s letter underscored the PNM
leadership s move to ignore the December
5 request by Manning for extension of the
deadline to January 3.
Following two failed attempts at meetings
on the nomination issue recently, Manning
wrote Rowley last Friday confirming he
had said if his health allowed and if it was
the will of the constituency, he would be
prepared to consider a nomination after
consideration of all other pertinent factors.
But Manning stressed, "It is not, and
ought not to be interpreted, that I have
made any decision to make myself available
He said he was going to seek an assess-
ment of his health from doctors in Cuba
and the US and would advise constituents
on January 2 whether he could contest.
If he could not, Manning said he would
recommend someone. Manning suggested
nominations follow during January 3-15
and screening immediately after.
After Ford said he had written the unit
about the December 22 deadline, San Fer-
nando East PRO Clarke subsequently con-
firmed the constituency office had received
Clarke, however, said the unit s office
closes on December 19 for Christmas and
no one would be available to conduct busi-
ness until the January 2 reopening. He said
all of that was pointed out in a letter sent
to Balisier House last Friday.
"That s why we proposed the deadline
be extended to January 3 but our letter was
sent late Friday and it s uncertain that it
was received in time to be considered before
the General Council announcement about
the December 22 deadline the day after.
"They might have only read our letter
today (yesterday) after sending their letter.
So we re still hoping for a change of that
deadline," Clarke said.
Letter writer dies
two weeks after
JENSEN LA VENDE
Petit Valley resident and customary news-
paper letter writer Dallas Kidman died yes-
terday morning, two weeks after he was beaten
unconscious by a bandit who stole a small
quantity of cash and other valuables from him,
police, on Novem-
ber 30 Kidman was
approached by a 33-
man who began
chatting with the
retiree at his Dorch-
ester Walk, Petit
Valley, home. Dur-
ing the conversation
the man reportedly
started to beat the
elderly man, then
ran into his home
and stole small
valuables and cash.
Kidman was taken to West Shore Medical
where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit
until 9 am yesterday when he died.
The suspect, of Cajuca Road, Morvant,
appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate yes-
terday charged with attempted murder and rob-
bery, police said. Police said the charges will be
amended following discussions with the office
of the Director of Public Prosecution.
In two other unrelated incidents, homicide
detectives are investigating the murder of PH
driver O Neil Sampson, 30.
Sampson was reportedly driving his white
Mitsubishi Lancer along Bagatelle Extension,
San Juan, around 9.30 pm on Sunday when he
was attacked by two gunmen. Sampson ran off
the road, came out and ran a short distance
He was taken to the Eric Williams Medical
Complex, Mt Hope, by North Eastern Division
Task Force members, but died undergoing treat-
Police said Sampson, a father of one who
recently moved into the area, was killed because
he was seen transporting a "certain man" in
the area regularly.
About four hours after Sampson was killed,
a murderer took the life of Phillip Francis, 35,
of Bulls Lane, Valencia.
Police said around 1.30 am yesterday, Francis
was leaving his girlfriend s Gill Street home
when a man called out to him. When he turned
around the man shot Francis at least nine times.
He died on the spot.
The killing of all three men have taken the
murder toll to 384 for the year, 15 more than
the corresponding period last year.
Sando East stand-off deepens
Unit wants extra
time for Manning
Clarke added that San Fernando East had no nominees in mind and would not
make any decision until it received word from Manning on his position.
He said the situation that has caused Manning's recent actions didn't emanate from
the MP but resulted from a written mandate from PNM's central executive last
month to prepare nominations, initially for the first week of December.
Clarke explained: "Resulting from central executive's instructions we had two
special meetings and our executive, at the most recent last Thursday, asked Mr
Manning to seek medical advice if he's medically fit to be nominated for screening.
"It was on that basis he accelerated plans to get advice in Cuba and the US and
report to us on January 2," Clarke said.
"People may think Mr Manning is doing all this but he's not acting on his own.
"He's writing the leader based on our requests to him, the outcome of our meetings
and the central executive's mandate to us. Also, prior to the central executive
mandate, Dr Rowley had spoken to Mr Manning about the issue on November 7."
NO NOMINEES IN MIND:
Clarke added: "At last Thursday's meet-
ing, we sought clarification of his health
status and last Friday he communicated
all of that via letter to the leader.
"Our MP has had medical challenges but
made remarkable improvement. We have
to give him the respect due to get his
medical advice before we reply to the
leadership on nominations. After 43 years
of service, one just can't dismiss things.
We must give him due process."
He also said the unit was not seeking
any confrontation with the central execu-
tive on the issue.
He added: "We don't see this as a con-
frontation or that two more weeks after
December 22 will make a big difference to
"After December 22 we have Christmas,
Boxing Day and Old and New Year's days.
Will nominations be scrutinised on those
"Our office reopens January 2 and the
MP meets with us January 3. Based on the
holidays between December 22 and start
of the year, we're only seeking a couple
days more, not extension to April or May.
It's reasonable given the holidays. Govern-
ment has also said election isn't near."
Manning didn't answer calls yesterday.
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