Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 21st 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, March 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The rejection of incumbent MP
for Laventille West Nileung
Hypolite and MP for Laventille
East/Morvant Donna Cox will
not hurt the People's National
Movement's chances of an elec-
So said Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley yesterday, as he
addressed journalists on the rejec-
tion of the two candidates after
attending the T&T Transparency
Institute s Anti-Corruption Con-
ference at the Hilton Trinidad,
Both Hypolite and Cox were
rejected by the PNM s screening
committee on Wednesday night.
They joined former MPs Paula
Gopee-Scoon (Point Fortin) and
former prime minister Patrick
Manning (San Fernando East) as
incumbents who will not get the
chance to recontest their seats.
However, while Cox and Hypolite
faced the screening committee,
Gopee-Scoon announced she
would not be contesting again,
whereas Manning never faced the
committee due to health reasons
after initially announcing his inten-
tion to do so.
Addressing whether the decision
to withdraw Hypolite and Nileung
from Laventille would hurt the
party s chances of winning, Row-
ley expressed confidence that this
would not happen.
"Certainly not," he said, adding
that the screening process had
nothing to do with "personalities"
but rather targeted the best selec-
tion. "We have a process in the
party, we screen quite extensively.
Our screening process has been
going on since September and that
is exactly how the process works.
"We examine people in great
detail and the 11-man screening
committee determine which per-
sons are best suited at this time
to represent the PNM. We are not
here about personalities. We
respect the process and I am sure
that the party members all under-
stand the outcome."
He also thanked the unsuccess-
ful candidates, saying that the
PNM was proud there was such a
wide pool of candidates to choose
from. See Page A9
Rowley on rejected PNM candidates
Party still strong
But Rowley also
acknowledged that those who
were unsuccessful would be
disappointed. "While there
might be some disappointment
on the part of the persons who
are incumbents who are not
chosen, having gone through
the process of offering
themselves again, it is not the
end of the road. Sometimes
your disappointments are
unexpected but all will be well,"
Rowley added. He said while the
PNM expected those rejected
would be disappointed, that was
only a temporary feeling and the
wider picture would eventually
prevail. On the possibility of
whether those who were not
chosen would want to leave the
PNM, Rowley said when they
joined the party they joined
their "parliamentary position."
"They joined as members of
the organisation and I think that
is fundamental to the
organisation and to them.
"It would be disrespectful to
them if it is thought without
justification that because they
don't get the opportunity to
continue in office that their
membership is in question.
That's not how it is," Rowley
NOT END OF THE ROAD
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is pursued by journalists as he leaves the Hilton Trinidad yesterday, after
attending the annual anti-corruption conference hosted by the T&T Transparency Institute. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Newly elected Law Association president Reginald Armour, right, is
congratulated by returning vice-president Gerry Brooks following the
association's election at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Newly appointed president of the
Law Association of T&T, Reginald
Amour SC, says he intends to
strengthen the role the association
plays in the country's affairs.
"My primary interest in running for
the office has been two pillars. One is
to focus on the membership and inspir-
ing the membership, getting the pro-
ficiency level of the membership up,
continuing legal education and other
benefits. "At the end of 2014 the finan-
cial membership stood at 1,591 mem-
bers. I want to see an increase in the
quality of the association.
"The second pillar is to focus the
council on observing one of the man-
dates as it relates to the public on mat-
ters of the law," he told the T&T
Guardian yesterday at the Hall of Jus-
tice, Port-of-Spain, after the associa-
tion s annual general meeting.
Amour, who will serve one year, paid
tribute to Seenath Jairam SC, whom
he replaced and called his friend. Jairam
sought re-election for another year but
lost to Amour by a vote of 323-106.
"We have had a very healthy election
process and a very healthy vibrant
turnout of the membership who voted
for a different leadership, who is going
to infuse new energies into the asso-
ciation," Amour said, noting there was
a membership of over 15,000 members.
He said the association was now as
relevant as ever.
"I think it is a national institution
which the society looks to for leadership
in matters relating to the law and it
looks to set the bar for standards of
conduct. That is very important.
"The higher we set our bar and more
consistently we observe our own stan-
dard at a high level, the greater the role
and impact the association will have
in the society," he said. Vice-president
Gerry Brooks, who was returned unop-
posed, told the T&T Guardian that he
wanted to continue the work of the
last administration. Brooks described
his role as one where he stood in if the
president was not able to chair or attend
meetings and provided support on ini-
Armour wants law body
to make national mark
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