People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley has rung in the changes within his contingent of deputy political leaders.
Former party chairman Colm Imbert and vice chairman Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly were announced as deputy leaders at last Saturday’s PNM General Council meeting.
PNM officials confirmed this to Guardian Media yesterday.
There’s also been a change in responsibilities for the new deputy leaders.
The party’s political leader normally appoints PNM’s four deputy leaders. However, none were announced at PNM’s convention last December, since ballots for the party’s internal election were still being counted and a leader wasn’t announced at the convention.
Rowley was announced as leader when all ballots were in and tallied after the convention.
The PNM’s deputies announced at last Saturday’s General Council were Finance Minister Imbert, Education Minister Gadsby-Dolly and Works Minister Rohan Sinanan. Deputy leaders already included Ancil Dennis (PNM Tobago Council).
Imbert and Gadsby-Dolly replace longstanding deputy leader Joan Yuille-Williams and Fitzgerald Hinds. Yuille-Williams was deputy leader (party and election matters) for many years since the 1990s under the Patrick Manning PNM.
Hinds was appointed deputy leader (legislative matters) in 2019, replacing former minister Marlene McDonald, who was is currently before the courts on alleged corruption charges.
Sinanan is on his latest term as deputy leader (policy matters), serving over approximately 12 years, officials estimated.
Officials said the areas for which deputy leaders hold responsibility have also now been changed. Sinanan will be in charge of party and election matters. Imbert will handle legislative matters and Gadsby-Dolly policy matters.
Imbert was PNM chairman from 2018 to last year. He didn’t contest the post in last December’s party elections and was succeeded by Energy Minister Stuart Young (Minister in the OPM), who contested it.
Gadsby-Dolly was elected PNM vice chairman in that election. Officials said she resigned as vice chairman to take up the post of deputy political leader. They said the PNM’s constitution allows the General Council to elect someone to fill the post. The PNM’s next internal election is 2026.
PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi didn’t reply to queries on the changes yesterday. Other PNM officials said Al-Rawi didn’t attend last Saturday’s General Council.
The new deputies are expected to be announced at today’s “Mix and Mingle” event for the media at the International Waterfront Centre in Port-of-Spain. The last such event was in 2020 but pandemic restrictions were on subsequently, bringing a half to such public activities.
A media report recently stated Rowley had indicated he would demit office at the end of the term. If so, that means the rest of the term’s 35 months will be Rowley’s last.
In the report, he said in the recent internal election, people would have seen “significant changes” in the PNM’s executive and that approach would continue. He’d said this month, the PNM would implement its new executive and “prepare ourselves going forward.”