Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2015 Contents A11
September 20, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Suspended People s National Movement
(PNM) member Barry Garcia was unaware
of the move against him yesterday evening,
but said he was not surprised. Garcia was
one of three PNM members suspended
after the party s first general council as the
"I know why though, it was because I
said (Prime Minister) Dr (Keith) Rowley
would be a dangerous leader," Garcia said
in a telephone interview yesterday.
Garcia said the PNM knew that he was
a vocal supporter of former PNM leader
Patrick Manning and then supported Pen-
nelope Beckles in her bid to topple Rowley
during the party s internal elections last year.
"This is how the executive moving under
Rowley. I supported Manning to the party
and in public and this is how they move
now," he said.
Garcia said when Rowley challenged Man-
ning s leadership in 2009 and again in 2010,
he was not ousted from the party but allowed
to remain as a member, despite being at
odds with the then leader.
"But there is no due process, no democ-
racy in the party anymore," Garcia said.
"What they have done now is given me
more power and strength to speak out, so they played
straight into my hands," he said.
Garcia said he spoke out about the sidelining of
other PNM members, especially Beckles after she lost
to Rowley. He was also critical of the way the party
treated former Diego Martin Central MP Dr Amery
Browne, MP for Laventille West Nileung Hypolite,
and former Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing.
"I was also critical of the party over the (Port-of-
Spain South MP Marlene) McDonald/Calabar Foun-
dation matter," he said.
Garcia is referring to the matter in which McDonald
is alleged to have paid several millions to a charity
foundation owned and operated by her common-law
McDonald was appointed as the Housing Minister
"If it is wrong under the previous government, it
cannot be right now," he said.
Garcia said he now understood that once a party
member spoke out against the ills within the party,
he would be ostracised.
"But I will continue to speak out where I see fit
despite the malice and ill-will from the PNM," he
He said that even if the combined suspensions
were raised at the PNM Eighth General Council, the
people selected for suspension should have been given
a chance to be heard.
"The party is operating against its own constitution,"
Garcia accompanied Beckles when she filed her
papers to challenge Rowley for leadership back in
2014. Later that same year, when Rowley praised
Manning at a PNM function, Garcia accused Rowley
of being a hypocrite; he was a member of the Preserve
the Balisier group which opposed Rowley s run for
party leadership against Manning.
Despite the fallout with the party, Garcia said, he
was not looking for political asylum in any other
"I will just continue to speak out when I see non-
sense happening," he said.
No democarcy in the party
• Continued from Page A3
Rampersad could not say if the UNC emerged vic-
torious how long it would take for voters to go back
to the polls in Tunapuna, St Joseph, Toco/Sangre
Grande, La Horquetta/Talparo, Moruga/Tableland
and San Fernando West.
"The process has to go to court and be tried and
tested. However, it would be an interesting precedent
in terms of law to have the matter challenged in court
and to see how it would play out." Comparing the
2000 election petition filed by the People s National
Movement against MPs Winston Peters and William
Chaitan, who they claimed were citizens of the United
States and Canada, respectively, when they filed their
nomination papers to contest the general election,
Rampersad said the two matters were different.
"This petition is a challenge against the EBC whose
decision was to extend the voting time by one hour
on September 7. But this one is a little more complex.
We are looking at six marginal constituencies on
which a recent election was determined." Basdeo,
meanwhile, said if the election petition was successful,
the court would deem the results null and void. He
said in that case, most likely, the country would go
back to the polls.
"I don t know what will be the time frame on how
the courts are going to rule on this matter. This thing
can take a year or it can take two years, depending
on how it proceeds in the court itself." Basdeo said
if there was a decision in the High Court, there could
then be an appeal. "So let s say it goes against the
State, then the State can appeal and it can go to the
Court of Appeal, likewise, for the UNC."
Election petition a
challenge against EBC
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