Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2015 Contents be, may not find favour with the
"One of the things we did do, we
broadened the screening committee.
It used to be a political leader assisted
by people, now it is an 11-man com-
mittee where each person is on the
committee as of right. The PNM
candidates are chosen by a body of
people of the party who get on the
screening committee by virtue of the
offices they hold in the party.
So it is not like some of the other
parties where the leader says Ok,
you will be on the committee, you
will be on the committee and appoint
"No, no, no, from the time we have
our national elections the screening
committee is selected by virtue of
the office that you hold.
"If you are elected lady vice-chair-
man, you have a place on the com-
mittee, if you are voted deputy polit-
ical leader, automatically you have
a place on the committee.
"If you are the general secretary,
the PRO, you are automatically on
the committee, so those positions
make up the committee no matter
who are in those positions.
"That is the screening committee
and they are the ones who examine
nominees and choose who the PNM
should be represented by."
With the Diego Martin Central
seat still up for grabs, Rowley said
the party would continue to "exam-
"Once you get one nomination you
are entitled to come for examination
and once you are examined you are
in the mix and of course, the screen-
ing committee can make decisions
along the way.
"So this is all part of the screening
landscape and, of course, there are
usually some disappointments and
even anger, but at the end of the day
the process has worked well for us
and we are 60 years old. Some par-
ties do not even last 60 days," he
PNM's new manifesto
Rowley said the PNM manifesto
would be introduced only when
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar calls the election date.
"The manifesto comes with the
election. That is how it comes, but
the work in getting us into a position
where we can deliver a total man-
ifesto, that work has been done...in
the meantime in the Opposition, the
parliamentary arm has been moni-
toring the Government, while the
party arm has been running the
party," he said.
He said he wanted the screening
process to be completed earlier rather
than later to give constituents a
chance to know who was their rep-
"We will choose our candidates
early to allow them to campaign
more effectively. Before that [there
was this] whole idea of a surprise
candidate and you create a who is
the candidate? with a big surprise.
"We have a different approach now
in that we let the candidates be
known and we select them more
slowly and more carefully and I hope,
I dare say more thoroughly and if
things do not go well in one or two
instances you have chance to, you
have time to fix it, to readjust it and
so on and we have been doing that.
"Right now we are down to three
more, we have three more to do and
that is the end of it.
"I think we have done remarkably
well at this stage, having our can-
didates ready, so whenever the elec-
tion is called the PNM is ready," he
said. ---reporting by Reshma
Look out for part 2 of Dr Rowley's
interview in tomorrow's Guardian
as he discusses the PNM's plans
to make government cleaner and
leaner should the party win the
2015 general election.
"We stand by our process and
the vast majority of party mem-
bers subscribe and understand
that process and accept it.
"Usually a lot of what you are
hearing along those lines come
from people outside the party,"
Four well-known names,
including two-term incumbent
for Diego Martin Central Dr
Amery Browne, have already
been rejected by the screening
Despite a massive show of
support for Browne by his con-
stituents, Rowley is confident
that there has been no major
fallout from the choices made
by the screening committee.
"That is normal...this is all
part of the landscape," he said.
"Remember screening is a
selection process, like the West
Not everyone could get on the
team, but at the end of the day
we are backing the West Indies
Rowley said corruption, crime,
and accountability and trans-
parency were the essential pillars
of the PNM s 2015 general elec-
tion campaign. He said health
care and education would also
form part of the PNM s cam-
"We cannot continue having
exchange and exchange and you
do not fix the systems. This is
"We believe that this is fun-
damental to the other problems.
When you do not have proper
oversight then everything below
will go haywire. We believe you
have to fix it at the top.
"This is rooted in the Consti-
tution there shall be a Cabinet
and the Cabinet shall be
accountable to Parliament," he
However, Rowley maintained
that national security remained
a major issue even as it was in
the Manning era of 2007/2008.
"We have chronic violent
crime in our communities which
has not improved under this
Government. Of course after
four, five years they are not see-
ing improvement they launch a
campaign telling you a lot has
improved but we are not seeing
that," he said.
The screening process
Of the screening process Row-
ley said: "It is a selection
process. You are only allowed to
select one candidate. Sometimes
you get five or six and each per-
son may have their preference,
and sometimes if you have one
candidate and that candidate for
one reason or the other may not
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PNM campaign to tackle corruption,
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From Page A6
Rowley said corruption, crime, and accountability
and transparency were the essential pillars of
the PNM's 2015 general election campaign. He
said health care and education would also form
part of the PNM's campaign battle. "We cannot
continue having exchange and exchange and you
do not fix the systems. This is sufficiently
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