Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2015 Contents A4
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 3, 2015
Pressure is mounting for the People s
National Movement (PNM) screening com-
mittee as its supporters in Chaguanas East
issue an ultimatum to select Nal Ramsingh
for the seat or they will vote for the Inde-
pendent Liberal Party (ILP).
Ramsingh, who is currently out of the
country, was rejected twice as a prospective
candidate to contest the seat in the 2015 polls.
On Wednesday, the Sunday Guardian went
into the Chaguanas East constituency to speak
to constituents about the internal wranglings
following the party s failure to select a can-
didate for the seat.
PNM supporters were not forgiving of the
party s screening committee s failure to agree
on a candidate.
The constituents clearly laid their cards on
the table, "Is Nal Ramsingh or nothing,"
declared Dale Preudhomme, 25, of Enterprise
He said his area was a PNM stronghold,
but supporters are not pleased with the
screening committee. In fact, he contended
that there was a conspiracy to punish Ram-
singh because he challenged Faris Al Rawi
for the PNM PRO post in the party s internal
"It is nothing but a personal grudge with
Faris Al Rawi, that must be why Nal Ramsingh
ain t get the nod to represent the people of
Chaguanas East. Nal Ramsingh has done
plenty for the people of Chaguanas East and
Enterprise," he said.
Initially, PNM Senator Dianne Baldeo-
Chadeesingh was given the nod over Ram-
singh when she went before the committee
in March. However, early last month, Baldeo-
Chadeesingh, in a surprising turn, withdrew
her candidacy citing personal reasons.
Once again, Ramsingh appeared before the
committee and he was blanked. This week,
members of the Chaguanas East constituency
executive walked out of a meeting with the
screening committee, chaired by party leader
Dr Keith Rowley at Balisier House.
According to a T&T Guardian article, the
members became frustrated when the com-
mittee attempted to approve Deowatie Lal-
man, who was not supported by the con-
The party remains without a candidate for
the seat at this time. The constituency exec-
utive has been given more time to find a suit-
We hold the power
Francois Street resident Sylvan Alexis, 50,
complained that the PNM seemed to be losing
touch with the party s grassroots supporters.
He said Rowley would pay a hefty price if
he does not listen to the will of the people.
"One seat could make a difference. Mr
Ramsingh has been very persistent and work-
ing to benefit everybody. They need to be
more for the people. It will work against the
party. If we not voting for Mr Ramsingh, we
will give ILP we vote. They have a chance of
losing the seat. Rowley might be in touch
with the grassroots in the community, but
maybe he is not listening," Alexis contend-
ed.Londenville resident Wendy Charles, 48,
agreed with Alexis.
She said she was a PNM supporter as well,
but she was not pleased with the way the
screening committee, which is an 11-member
team, has been treating prospective candi-
She too said she was going to give her vote
to the ILP.
"I find they could give Mr Ramsingh a
chance. Cadiz did not do anything for any-
body....If we do not get him (Ramsingh) we
going ILP. I supporting Jack 101 per cent,"
Another resident, who opted not to give
his name, also said he believed ILP leader
Jack Warner was gaining support in the con-
stituency and could very well take the mar-
"We in Chaguanas East want performance,
and Mr Warner is a performer," he said, as
other residents cheered.
'Get your house in order'
Kaloo Trace, Warrenville resident Zakiyyah
Ali, 32, did not mince words when she
expressed dissatisfaction with the party s
inability to find a candidate.
"If they do not have their house in control
what they going to do for the people out
here? They are supposed to be the leaders
out here, so what you expect for the people.
If they cannot fix it what do you expect?
What do you want the people to do? That
is why they have so much crime, they cannot
fix nothing. They cannot even fix themselves,"
Shop owner Prakash Poonsammy, 64, of
Rodney Road, Endeavour, said if the PNM
never had a capable candidate they would
not be able to find one now.
"If you looking for something and it is not
there, how will you get it? You looking for
somebody to represent the people and cannot
find anybody capable enough. If they had
somebody capable enough they would have
find it and they would have screened them
and have them on the floor," he contended.
Poonsammy said while he does not delve
into politics, he believes that the PNM s polit-
ical leader is handpicking candidates.
"He is the PNM leader, it is only obvious
he will be the one who is picking the can-
didates and screening," Poonsammy contend-
...supporters threaten to vote ILP
A resident of
the area pulls a
Continues on Page A17
Ramsingh or nothing
The momentum the People s
National Movement has been
building in the past few months
has hit a snag as party groups and
supporters in Diego Martin Cen-
tral, Arima and Chaguanas East
lock horns with the party s screen-
Political analyst Maukesh Basdeo
said while the mounting tensions
could affect the party s chances at
the polls, he believes the situation
could easily be defused with com-
promise on both sides.
"They have to sit down and come
to some agreement on suitable can-
didates," he said.
Basdeo, in a telephone interview
yesterday, said the PNM s consti-
tution allows for the political leader,
Dr Keith Rowley, to select a can-
didate if the party s constituency
executive cannot put forward a suit-
However, he said the party exec-
utive and the party groups must
meet to resolve the present turmoil.
PNM stalwarts Dr Amery Browne
and Penelope Beckles still enjoy
"substantial support" within Diego
Martin Central and Arima respec-
tively, he said.
Basdeo contended that to say at
this stage that the PNM could lose
these seats even before an election
"is highly unlikely."
However, he said there was a
pattern going back in 2010 when
the PNM lost Arima---one of the
possible reasons was Beckles non-
The spillover effect, he said,
would have taken place in
D Abadie/O Meara and La Horquet-
ta/Talparo in 2010.
He said a similar situation was
developing again in 2015 where the
party has identified a candidate
whom is not really supported by
the party groups.
"The possibility that could hap-
pen is that people may decide that
they may not vote PNM or they
may not vote any other party, but
really stay away to send a signal,"
See Pages A6, A7, A17, A18
They need to
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