Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 10th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 09TH FERBUARY, 2015
Although San Fernando East incumbent
Patrick Manning surprisingly withdrew his nom-
ination for the People s National Movement s
screening yesterday afternoon, he had received
the most nominations---13---from the unit s 33
party groups heading into the exercise, according
to the executive s PRO Anthony Clarke.
But while Manning never eventually faced the
screening committee, prior to screening a number
of San Fernando East PNMites had tipped young
attorney Randall Mitchell to get the candidacy.
Mitchell received the second largest number of
Clarke said another nominee, councillor Rondell
Donawa, received eight nominations and the others,
including former councillor Malika Blair and former
San Fernando West MP Junia Regrello, received
under three and five nominations.
Earlier, the San Fernando East executive had
met at 2 pm to examine the nominees and to
decide on whom to recommend to the screening
committee later in the evening.
At the end of its meeting, Manning had received
the majority of support and was expected to be
the unit s recommended candidate. The executive s
chairman and vice-chairman then went to Man-
ning s Vistabella home to inform him of their
However, Clarke last night confirmed that Man-
ning subsequently informed them he was with-
drawing. The T&T Guardian understands Manning
didn t give reasons to the officials but sources
close to him said he had "his reasons."
Clarke last night confirmed Manning s with-
drawal "shocked" everybody. He said the chairman
later informed the PNM screening team that Man-
ning had withdrawn.
Manning was unavailable for comment last
The unit was expected to advise the leader, Dr
Keith Rowley, on the issue for him to speak to
Manning. Last night his absence from the lineup
of nominees for screening at the PNM s south
office was noticeable.
PNM has 15 more areas to screen. PNM general
secretary Ashton Ford said screening would con-
tinue after Carnival but the party had not yet
decided which areas would be done.
PNM aims to complete screening between the
end of this month and next month, officials said.
Ex-PM got most
party group votes
Former People s National Movement
(PNM) leader and Prime Minister Patrick
Manning is out. Young attorney Randall
Mitchell is in.
Manning s history-making tenure as the
longest serving Member of Parliament came
to a premature end last night when Mitchell,
a 36-year old attorney, was named as his
successor and the candidate for the 2015
general election following the screening of
candidates at the PNM s San Fernando East
But there was no rejoicing in the PNM
camp, which remains divided between loyalty
for the party and their former MP and political
leader, who failed to show up for the screening
in spite of requests for nomination extensions
so he could throw his hat into the ring.
Long, unsmiling faces greeted the much
anticipated news which came from Anthony
Clarke, the constituency s PRO, who was
joined by general secretary Ashton Ford for
the announcement after almost one-and-
a-half hours of deliberation.
Ford first announced that the committee
had taken a decision after deliberations and
interviewing the four candidates.
"Mr Manning did not show up for screen-
ing," he said.
Clarke then announced Mitchell as the
prospective candidate for San Fernando East.
Asked about Manning s decision to with-
draw, Ford said they were told by the chair-
man of the San Fernando East constituency
that he had a meeting with Manning earlier
in the day and he decided to withdraw his
candidacy. Ford said no reason was given.
He said Rowley announced during the
process that the party would pay due regard
and honour to Manning at an appropriate
He said its focus at this time was on the
hectic battle ahead and the selection of can-
didates for the 41 constituencies. Twenty-
six candidates have been selected thus far,
he said. Screening will continue after Carnival
he also noted.
Among the dissatisfied executive was Eber
Steele, one of three nominees who were
rejected at the last San Fernando East screen-
Steele joined the circle as prayers were said
for Mitchell but earlier was very critical of
the screening process, saying he was still
waiting for an official response form the
party s executive that he was no longer eligible
to be screened for another time.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who
headed the screening committee, did not
make an appearance before the media, which
outnumbered the number of people who
showed up to support the five candidates
who were due to be screened: San Fernando
Councillor Rondell Donowa, former Deputy
Mayor of San Fernando Malaika Blair and
former San Fernando West MP and present
Deputy Mayor Junia Regrello.
Regrello, who also unsuccessfully screened
for San Fernando West, was in and out before
the screening committee in less than five
minutes. He did not wait around for the
Manning was the fifth candidate, but when
former councillor Sharon Looney called his
name to appear before the committee five
times around 7 pm, he was a no show.
Manning's reign ends
PNM stalwarts, who did not want to be
named, said at an executive meeting
earlier in the day at the San Fernando East
Constituency office, members were
informed that Manning had decided to
withdraw from the race.
Some said Manning, who suffered two
strokes since his defeat in the May 2010
polls, indicated it would be humiliating for
him to walk up the stairs to get to the
When the rumours started circulating in
the early afternoon, a call was made to
Manning's home. His wife, Hazel,
answered and informed the media who
called that she was on her way out, not to
the screening. Asked if Mr Manning was
coming she said he would be better able
to answer that question.
Following the announcement, Mitchell
said he was humbled to be named
Manning's successor. He said Manning
was his mentor and saw a continuing role
for him in the politics in T&T, especially in
the PNM as he was a very resourceful
He said from today his first order of
business would be to thank the party
group, executive and Manning for the
support and after that work for the
constituency and constituents to the best
of his ability.
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi said he was
happy for the faith the party had reposed
in a number of young people and four
attorneys, including himself, Mitchell, Terry
Jadoonan, who has been selected to
contest the Oropouche East constituency,
and Neil Mohammed for Pointe-a-Pierre.
He said they intended to bring the entire
southern areas seriously to the forefront
Movement PRO Faris Al
Rawi congratulates San
Fernando East nominee
Rondell Mitchell after
last night's screening.
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