Spotlight Monday on PNMites seeking to run the People’s National Movement (PNM) ahead.
The race includes Rural Development/Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi who’s seeking the post of PNM Public Relations Officer–which he held before in 2014.
And there’s speculation about the possibility of Energy Minister Stuart Young for the chairmanship. That’s currently held by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
Both Al- Rawi and Young are being supported for respective posts under the hashtag called “We The People” (WTP) which is also supporting several other new nominees.
This, as the PNM opens nominations from 8 am to 4 pm on Monday for its upcoming executive elections. Voting will be a three- day process over November 26 to 27 with the final leg at the PNM’s convention on December 4.
The 16 posts including leadership–held by Prime Minister Keith Rowley –are open for contest. The term is until 2026.
Party officials confirmed nomination forms can be sent by email or delivered in person at PNM’s current base in central Trinidad . Its new Balisier House Headquarters, in Port of Spain, is under reconstruction .
Nominations are done by party groups with a nominee’s consent. The full list of nomination will be released by PNM’s Election Supervisory committee on Tuesday.
The current executive comprises “ Team Red” which was the slate Rowley headed in PNM’s 2018 executive elections. That team won all posts against 11 independents.
The posts of Welfare Officer and Vice Chairman have been vacant for some time. Jocelyn Bodden, who was Welfare Officer, died in 2021. Robert Le Hunte resigned as Vice Chairman in January after quitting as Public Utilities Minister in 2021 .
PNM members expect “keen contest” –up to Sunday challenge was looming for several incumbents.
One-time Finance Minister Karen Nunez- Tesheira is seeking the leadership held by Rowley .
The last person to challenge him was (current Planning Minister ) Pennelope Beckles in 2014 . Beckles lost with 1, 315 votes to Rowley’s 18,121.
Nomination speculation has been heightened by social media blurbs– in red with a Balisier–from “We The People” (WTP) entity. PNM officials said they didn’t know who WTP was– whether Rowley or anyone else’s slate, group or otherwise.
Tipped so far …
Among developments so far:
• ↓Incumbent Education Officer Overand Padmore didn’t answer calls on if he’s contesting or not.
• ↓Treasurer Howard Chin Lee didn’t respond to query if he’ll contest.
• ↓Social Media officer Avinash Singh (Minister in Agriculture) hasn’t answered calls on if he’s contesting. Kwasi Robinson and others are tipped to contest.
• ↓Current PRO Laurel Lezama Lee Sing is tipped among others contesting Education officer.
• ↓MTS CEO Lennox Rattansingh isn’t contesting Education officer though supported by WTP for that post .
• ↓Al- Rawi is contesting PRO. He was elected PRO in PNM’s 2014 elections on Rowley’s team. He stepped down when PNM won 2015 general elections and he became Attorney General.
• ↓Young didn’t respond to queries up to yesterday on contesting chairmanship, after his name was floated as having WTP support.
• ↓Incumbent chairman Imbert didn’t answer queries if he’s contesting chairmanship or not.
• ↓Minister in Finance Brian Manning said last week he’s contesting Vice chairman.
• ↓Education Minister Nyan Gadsby Dolly had WTP support for Vice chairman. She said last week she was giving it strong consideration – but didn’t reply to subsequent query on decision.
• ↓Operations officer is tipped to be contested including by incumbent Irene Hinds who has WTP support.
• ↓Tabaquite chairman Curtis Shade’s name was floated by WTP for Field officer held by Abdon Mason . Shade said he couldn’t comment on contesting until today.
• ↓Lady Vice chairman Camille Robinson- Regis who’s contesting, is said to be unopposed
• ↓Also General secretary Foster Cummings .
• ↓Also: Elections officer Indar Parasram.
• ↓Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein didn’t answer queries if he’s contesting . His name was floated for Treasurer.
• ↓Maxine Richards said last week she hadn’t decided yet on contesting Welfare officer.
• ↓Labour Relations Officer Jennifer Baptiste- Primus is among contenders for that post .
• ↓Assistant General Secretary Daniel Dookie is contesting plus others.
• ↓Youth Officer is tipped to be contested by incumbent Ndale Young and others.
Other ministers not contesting
Beckles, whose name was on an unofficial “list” being circulated recently, hasn’t answered query if she’s contesting .
Several PNMites, whose names were also on “lists” to contest, aren’t involved in the election including Ministers Marvin Gonzales, Stephen McLashie, Paula Gopee -Scoon; as well as Shaka Subero, Joel Primus, Mariano Browne, Pearce Robinson, Makeda Cambridge, Nal Rmsingh, Hillan Morean and others
The November voting will be at centres around T&T including schools. The December 4 leg will be at the convention venue–Queen’s Park Savannah.
PNM officials indicated there are about 100,000 members registered. Post pandemic PNM held constituency executive elections – and membership drives – from July .
Non financial members can vote in the upcoming election . This will be a one man/one vote system. PNMites will receive a polling card to vote.