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At least four of the People s
National Movement s (PNM s)
MPs have blanked leadership
challenger Pennelope Beckles-
Robinson and have openly
endorsed incumbent Keith Row-
ley.Nine other MPS remain mum.
On Wednesday, Beckles-Robin-
son said she would lobby support
among MPs for her team and said
she was finalising a slate.
But well before she spoke, PNM
deputy leader Marlene McDonald
came out in full support of Rowley.
It was in McDonald s constituency
that Rowley first began campaign-
McDonald, appointed deputy
and whip by Rowley in 2010, told
the T&T Guardian on Tuesday she
was supporting him fully.
She said: "I m also supportive
of Dr Rowley s slate. He s got an
excellent track record and great
expertise. I ve seen someone who s
a hard worker and committed.
There can be no doubt he s running
PNM well and has brought us to
victory more than once."
On Thursday, the views of sev-
eral other MPs were sought.
Port-of-Spain North MP Patri-
cia McIntosh when asked about
Beckles-Robinson s lobby said: "Dr
Rowley is our leader and I ve
worked closely with him for four
years and find him to be a strong,
no-nonsense person who s fought
Four PNM MPs blank Penny
corruption in and out of Parliament.
He s articulated a vision for where he
wants to take T&T and he wields good
control of the PNM.
"I haven t worked closely with Ms
Beckles but I know her and consider
her a very fine woman. But I haven t
seen the mettle I ve seen with Dr Row-
ley, so I ve endorsed his leadership. I
wouldn t rebuff her and I d welcome
any approach but I ve already publicly
expressed support for Dr Rowley as
McIntosh added: "Ms Beckles is at
a disadvantage, as she might talk the
good talk but I ve nothing tangible in
terms of accomplishments in the polit-
ical arena to go by. He s a far more
experienced politician and probably in
time she ll reach there."
La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey said:
"I m supporting the leader. Penny is a
very nice person but at this point Dr
Rowley is the best person to lead. I m
not saying too much lest Government
capitalise on PNM s election."
St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh,
who was elevated during Rowley s
tenure from Senator to MP, said: "I m
supporting Dr Rowley based on his
revival of the PNM from 2010 to date
and resuscitating many party organs.
His attempts at constitution reform
have also been sterling.
"I also support his track record in
leading PNM to victory in three of four
elections and his valiant attempts at
holding the Government to account via
his motions of no confidence resulting
in ministers being fired. He s also been
cleared by the Integrity Commission
and other fora on various matters. So
he stands proud."
Laventille East MP Donna Cox, who
lost the Women s League chairmanship
to Beckles in 2012, was unavailable on
Diego Martin North East MP Colm
Imbert said he d comment after PNM s
March 14 Nomination Day, while his
colleague, Diego Martin Central MP
Amery Browne said: "We have two
excellent candidates thus far and it s a
tribute to PNM s strength we can have
them offering themselves for leadership
with an excellent incumbent in the
form of Dr Rowley and excellent con-
tender in the form of Ms Beckles. We ll
see what else transpires by Nomination
St Ann s East MP Joanne Thomas
said: "It s an internal election and giving
views publicly is causing a division
internally, so I won t state a choice. I
support both. On election day I ll act."
Pt Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon
declined comment. Arouca MP Alicia
Hospedales wasn t available. San Fer-
nando East MP Patrick Manning, whom
Beckles-Robinson said she would seek
advice from, wasn t available on Thurs-
day.Laventille West MP and incumbent
Youth Officer (Male) Nileung Hypolite,
who was blanked for that post on Row-
ley s slate, declined to say who he s
Dr Keith Rowley
Diego Martin Central MP
Amery Browne said: "We
have two excellent
candidates thus far and it's
a tribute to PNM's strength
we can have them offering
themselves for leadership
with an excellent incumbent
in the form of Dr Rowley and
excellent contender in the
form of Ms Beckles. We'll
see what else transpires by
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