Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 3, 2014
Former prime minister Basdeo
Panday says he isn t buying Chief
Justice Ivor Archie s statement
that late former president Arthur
NR Robinson had "agonised"
over the UNC and PNM s 18-18
election deadlock in 2001.
Panday yesterday remained
unrepentant about his view of
Archie, at Thursday s funeral for
Robinson, said the former pres-
ident, trying to resolve the 2001
deadlock, had prepared separate
instruments of appointment for
Panday and the PNM s Patrick
Manning. They were contenders
for the post of Prime Minister after
the tied election result.
Archie added that Robinson
"agonised prayerfully" on the sit-
uation up to the "very last minute."
Archie said he knew Robinson
was doing his best even if there
were some who felt his best was
not good enough.
Describing Robinson as a role
model and mentor, Archie said he
had had the opportunity to speak
to Robinson about these and other
Robinson eventually appointed
Manning as Prime Minister instead
of Panday, who had been the
Robinson later said his reasons
for appointing Manning as prime
minister was that on the basis of
"moral and spiritual values," Man-
ning was the better person to lead
In his book In the Midst of It,
Robinson said he reached his con-
troversial decision after consulta-
tion with both Manning and Pan-
day, both privately and
He said his reference to moral
and spiritual values was an excerpt
from the T&T Constitution, and
he had appointed Manning not
only because of that but also
"because of the oath of office
which Members of Parliament had
taken, on which he made the deci-
Panday, who didn t attend
Robinson s funeral, said: "I don t
know why he had to agonise at
all. There was no reason to agonise.
It was clear that the natural deci-
sion should have been in UNC s
favour, since we had a majority
and were the incumbent.
"Actually I think he might have
agonised as he was doing some-
thing wrong. Had he not intended
to do anything wrong, there would
have been no need to agonise.
"So I m not buying that," he
added. "How can I?
"What the Chief Justice didn t
tell is what exactly Robinson was
agonising about and what things
he was taking into consideration
with his decision then. He talked
about moral and spiritual values.
"Also the Chief Justice didn t
quite tell us what role he was play-
ing. He wasn t CJ at the time, but
had Robinson at the time sought
legal advice, from him? And if so,
what legal advice did Archie give
Manning was unavailable to
comment on Archie s statements
yesterday, though his family denied
a Newsday report that he was out
of the country.
Political analyst Dr Bishnu
Ragoonath said Archie s statement
about Robinson indicated the chal-
lenges of being a president and
Robinson was trying to do the job
he was given, which was his
(See Pages A12 & A13)
to his views
While some "Team Penny" sup-
porters have been added to the
PNM s final voting list, that doesn t
include the 3,500 names which the
team made representation for last
week, says Team Penny member
Boynes said yesterday his team
was still checking the final list for
the PNM s May 18 internal election.
The list was approved by the
party s General Council on Thursday
night. The preliminary list of 79,363
names was increased to 81, 529.
Last Thursday Team Penny mem-
bers met with the PNM s Elections
Commission on issues including the
exclusion of a number of names
from the list.
MP Nileung Hypolite said the
group later followed the instructions
of commission members and made
written representation for over 3,500
people whose names were attached
in the letter. He said those people
had applied online, before the Feb-
ruary 28 membership deadline, and
"for one reason or another may not
have been on the preliminary list."
The letter was dropped at the
PNM s head office last Monday, the
deadline for submission.
But after the final list was
revealed, Boyne said while some
supporters had been added to the
list, he wasn t picking up names
from the 3,500 bulk application on
it. He said it so far seemed those
people didn t get on the list, but by
today the position would be clear.
Yesterday leadership challenger
Pennelope Beckles-Robinson said
the team was checking the situation
thoroughly first before deciding on
its next step.
She said she couldn t comment
at that point on whether they might
take legal action to halt the election
if they had concerns about the list.
Team Penny member Cagney
Cassimire, who attended Thursday s
council meeting, was also unable to
confirm whether the group s 3,500
supporters had been added to the
list.Cassimire said where his area of
Arima is concerned, the increase
between the preliminary and final
lists is only 50 members.
"It s difficult to tell since we re
dealing with only numbers, not
names. They commission didn t
qualify where the additional 2,000-
plus names came from," Cassimire
"Each candidate will have to go
through the list and check to see if
names are on it. Or it s only when
people go to vote perhaps they will
know if they can vote or not. One
can t vote even if you have a party
card---you must be on the voting
list," he added.
Cassimire also envisioned other
election-day problems for voters.
Since there is only one polling divi-
sion per constituency, teams will
have to hire transport to get their
supporters out or people will have
to travel to the station in their con-
stituency to vote. He said the reason
given for having only one poling
station per constituency was due to
the software involved in the exercise.
names still out
An expectant mother and member of Skiffle performs with her band during Pan on the Avenue as part of
Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations on Thursday night. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
WOMAN ON THE BASS
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