Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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Time will tell.
That was one of several views
from Team Rowley members on
how effective the healing process
in the PNM will be after the
recent internal election.
The recent campaign has been
viewed as acrimonious by some.
Several sharp exchanges from
the platform occurred, not only
between Team Rowley and Team
Penny members but also involv-
ing Independent candidates,
such as Mariano Browne.
Contacted on defeated lead-
ership challenger Pennelope
Beckles-Robinson s future in the
party, PNM general secretary
Ashton Ford of Team Rowley
"Of course she has a future.
She is a member of sedx the
PNM. Dr Rowley made it clear
when he spoke after (results)
that he will be working with all
party members in the PNM."
Asked how effective the heal-
ing process will be following the
level of acrimony in the cam-
paign, Ford said: "Time will tell.
We will have to wait and see but
I stand by my leader when he
says the party is open for every
PNM deputy leader Marlene
McDonald, who led several
attacks during the campaign,
said: "It was all simply friendly
political banter and we accept
it for what it is.
"But we are one PNM and one
people and we don t have a
problem. At the end of the day
we all have our responsibilities
to T&T and we will perform our
duties as we see fit."
McDonald added: "I particu-
larly thank my Port-of-Spain
South constituency for support-
ing Dr Rowley the way they did.
The numbers could have been
greater but for obvious reason
not all of them could have come
"I am satisfied they made the
contribution necessary for Dr
Rowley to get his mandate.
"Constituents heard my mes-
sage and acceded to my request.
Despite that there was support
for others but that support only
resulted in 25 votes for the other
side from Port-of-Spain South.
Still, we are all in this together
PNM chairman Franklin Khan,
saying Rowley had made it clear
he had worked with all PNM
members, added: "As of Sunday
night there is no longer any
Team Rowley or Team Penny.
It s only one team now, the
"There was never any great
animosity in the party for the
campaign. I think everyone s
focused on the general election,
so let s put our plans in place."
He said he did not think it
had been a bruising battle.
"We had concerns about the
voting list, as they did, but they
had more," he said.
Asked what role Beckles-
Robinson and/or her team mem-
bers and supporters might be
given, Khan said: "I don t want
to go there yet.
"The results show there is lots
of room in PNM for everyone.
There are a lot of General Coun-
cil and Central Executive sub -
committees. "We have standing
committees in many areas and she
and her team members can con-
tribute. We are willing to have any-
one who will work hard and put in
sweat equity. " This may be exam-
ined when the Central Executive
holds its next meeting in the first
week of next month.
Neither Khan nor Ford could con-
firm if there would be any get-
together of the two teams as a pos-
sible kick-start to the healing
process. Yesterday, Team Penny s
Bose Sharma said the group, To Pre-
serve the Balisier, which had backed
Beckles-Robinson, would continue
to function as a watchdog for integri-
ty and ethics in politics.
On its team s defeat, Sharma
added: "Penny s message obviously
didn t resonate with a hardcore sec-
tor in the party whose minds were
clearly made up to give Keith a
chance to lead the PNM into a gen-
Penny still has future in party
In T&T's interest, the PNM should
make an effort to heal wounds
inflicted by the recent internal
election if the party wishes to give
the impression of being a democratic
organisation, says former public
service head Reginald Dumas.
He added: "I expected Team
Rowley to win, no surprise there.
"The question is, what now? I will
not like a situation where Pennelope
Beckles-Robinson and her people are
"But I don't know what venom
might be playing. I did see leader
Rowley say the party would not 'go
there' when Franklin Khan spoke
about bringing Mariano Browne
before the disciplinary committee for
Browne's statements at the time. It's
a good sign. "But it's obvious there
are rifts within PNM, not only with
Penny. There was a very public spat
between Mariano and the leadership.
Browne basically told Rowley 'don't
"That's just one example, so the
question is what will Rowley do to
heal rifts in the PNM?"
Dumas added: "Also what will he
do to persuade people he is not as
rough as he comes across?
"Many people have said 'calm
down, get a softer image. You can
criticise and attack but it makes
people believe what Patrick Manning
said about you was correct, that you
are a raging bull.'"
Dumas said it was also time for
the PNM to start detailing its plans
and policies for government beyond
attacking the Government, so the
public could examine its plans and
decide on it.
Political analyst Dr Bishnu
Ragoonath said healing would
depend on how Rowley decided to
treat with Beckles-Robinson and all
the controversial public exchanges of
the campaign had to be dealt with.
He added: "The PNM remains a
good threat to the PP but the
challenge is Rowley will have to use
his time to strengthen his base and
take it from there.
"He has a lot of work to do within
the party as he prepares for a
general election as the voter turnout
was as low as 20 per cent.
"We can speculate on if people
might have felt he would win and
just did not bother to go vote or
maybe they were not enthused by
Read! Watch! Ca$h jackpot at $1,500
DUMAS: HEAL THE WOUNDS
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