Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 11th 2014 Contents A9
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Leader of the People s National
Movement (PNM) Dr Keith Rowley
came under attack from a new pres-
sure group within his party, as the
group intends to challenge Rowley
for leadership of the party.
To Preserve the Balisier (TPTB) co-
ordinator Dr Bose Sharma told a meet-
ing on Thursday night that Rowley had
sidelined party members because of
their support for former leader Patrick
Sharma was the PNM s defeated
candidate for St Augustine in the 2010
About 100 people attended the 90-
minute meeting at Pinto Community
Centre in Arima, including former
Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation
chairman Patricia Mejias.
The PNM national executive election
is due by the end of March, but the
date has not as yet been announced
by Rowley. Sharma said the rules for
the election is to be released shortly
by PNM general secretary Ashton Ford.
He did not name the candidate the
TPTB was supporting against Rowley
for the party s top position, saying only
that the person will be announced
It will be the first election under the
one-man-one-vote system, and Shar-
ma thanked Rowley for ensuring that
the new system replaced the former
delegate system of voting.
Sharma said the party s first three
leaders---Dr Eric Williams, George
Chambers and Patrick Manning---all
had a vision for the PNM and Rowley
must now tell the party what is his
vision for the country s oldest political
"Our leader is not talking, he just
shove everybody aside. It seems like
Rowley under attack
New group to challenge political leader post
Member of the People s
National Movement (PNM) Barry
Garcia says the country s oldest
political party has been hijacked
and is in a crisis under the lead-
ership of Dr Keith Rowley.
He said the membership must
stand up to ensure that "no cabal
cutlass-side" controls the party.
Garcia was speaking during a
meeting of the new PNM pressure
group To Preserve the Balisier
(TPTB) at Pinto Community Cen-
tre, Arima, on Thursday night.
Garcia said the PNM was
hijacked by one of its deputy lead-
ers Rohan Sinanan, former gov-
ernment minister John Rahael and
insurance executive Andrew
They were "calling the shots"
in the PNM, he said.
Contacted for comment, Rahael
said Garcia s claim was "nonsen-
sical and did not require a
Rahael said he was dismissing
the claim outright.
Sinanan also responded, jokingly
saying the matter should be
reported to the police.
Sinanan said Garcia should
know that the PNM cannot be
hijacked by anyone.
He dismissed Garcia s claim as
About 100 supporters attended
the meeting, which was called to
launch the group s campaign to
challenge Rowley for leadership
of the party in the national exec-
utive election due by March 31.
The date for the election has not
as yet been announced.
On Tuesday, Rowley held his
first meeting with constituency
groups in the run-up to the elec-
Garcia and co-ordinator of the
TPTB were the only speakers at
Thursday s meeting.
Garcia said the PNM was in cri-
sis. He accused Rowley of oper-
ating in breach of the party s con-
stitution. He said Rowley does not
consult with the party organs and
victimises members who oppose
him. Garcia said unlike former
leader Patrick Manning, Rowley
does not consult with members.
Garcia said if Rowley "can t
respect the constitution of the
party and were to become prime
minister, what would happen to
"We are in a crisis in the PNM,"
he said. Garcia said to preserve
the Balisier (the PNM s party sym-
bol) the core values of the PNM
must be preserved."
Garcia said Rowley must lead
the party in a way to attract all
ethnic groups and not just one.
Garcia said Rowley does not
attend the general business section
of general council meetings. He
said Rowley was seeking to run
the PNM without consulting with
other arms of the 57-year-old
party, including the general coun-
cil.Garcia said the PNM must be
cleansed from within and not
PNMite: Party hijacked, in a crisis
we have a one-man show again.
He is not coming and telling us
what he will do. He is not coming
to party group meetings and sitting
with party group chairmen and
Sharma said members cannot
dissent from Rowley in general
council meetings and he had been
unable to meet with Rowley for
the past two years.
Sharma said he was disappoint-
ed in Rowley for attacking him at
a PNM meeting in D Abadie on
Tuesday night, saying Rowley was
engaging in "politics of
After the 2010 general election,
he said, Rowley asked him to help
set up a new information tech-
nology system at Balisier House.
Sharma said he got the best
international IT experts and sub-
mitted a report to Rowley. Sharma
said the cost was put at
US$350,000, but he told Rowley
people were willing to cover it and
all that was required was hotel
accommodation for the experts
But, he said, Rowley never got
back to him and attacked him at
the meeting, saying it was Sharma
who wanted a contract from the
party to supply IT to the PNM.
"If Rowley was called a raging
bull," he said, "I am his matador.
I will eat him raw."
Sharma also claimed Rowley
had prevented an initiative in the
party to supply glasses to poor
people within the PNM.
The TPTB was seeking to pre-
serve the truthfulness and energy
of the party, Sharma said, and
under Rowley s leadership the
PNM was crumbling.
PNM members "know what
leadership is," he warned, "so you
can t fool us with your brand of
leadership if it is not pushing the
He said Rowley was just engag-
ing in tokenism by bringing in one
or two Indians to decorate it.
Members of the audience at the PNM party group meeting held in Arima, on
Thursday night. PHOTOS: DARREN RAMPERSAD
Dr Bose Sharma
audience at the
meeting of the
PNM group, To
Balisier, at the
Centre, Arima, on
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