The People’s National Movement’s Port-of-Spain South executive meets tomorrow (Sat) with the election co-ordinator for the constituency – Chinua Alleyne – to work out getting together with new candidate Cleopatra Borel and concerns on her selection.
This was confirmed yesterday by executive officials.
Moves towards a meeting are being made after the executive voiced concerns over Borel’s selection on May 28. She’s replacing incumbent MP Marlene McDonald. However, the executive wrote the party expressing disenchantment about the selection on May 31. When no reply was received they sent another letter on Tuesday seeking a meeting with the leadership to discuss concerns.
Members of the unit have said they didn’t know Borel, hadn’t met her, the executive hadn’t seen her yet and they were concerned she didn’t know the area or people. They felt the candidate was “foisted” on them.
On Wednesday, the executive’s chairman Wendell Stephens said Alleyne contacted him and said he’d (Alleyne) seek a meeting with the executive and Borel.
PNM general secretary Foster Cummings – to whom the executive’s letters were sent- didn’t answer calls yesterday. But other leadership officials have noted the situation.
Yesterday, a PoS South member who’d spoken to the T&T Guardian about the issue on Tuesday, said since the appointment of co-ordinator Alleyne, members are hopeful on the situation since,“… the platform has been set for talks. So something’s being done.”
“Concerns expressed by the executive were not to hurt our party but to get people to understand the situation and ensure the party isn’t going to get hurt ahead in the election fight. Letters were sent. Members wanted to sort out concerns before elections rather than in it,” the executive member, who did not want to be named, said.
“In keeping with PNM’s founding principles of democracy and that the people’s voice must be heard, we’d simply hoped to get an ear since election momentum is building. We want to send the right signals that we’re sorting our ‘we business’ and will move on.”
Meanwhile, in PNM’s La Brea constituency- the last area to get a candidate- North Central Regional Health Authority chairman Steve Delas is tipped as a frontrunner for the candidacy, PNM officials said. Delas, one of six La Brea nominees, was described as having significant support.
The PNM has selected candidates for 40 other constituencies and they’ve been “on the ground” campaigning.
PNM La Brea executive chairman Wayne Wood had no comment on whom the executive might support for tomorrow’s screening exercise.
“The screening team will decide,” Wood said.
After La Brea’s candidate is selected, among PNM’s 41 candidates there’ll be 28 new faces. All those selected are deemed prospective candidates until nomination day when those persons file documents with the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
For 2015 general election, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley changed several incumbents who’d served from 2010-15. He subsequently appointed some of them – like Amery Browne, Penny Beckles-Robinson, Fitzgerald Jeffrey- as ambassadors. Rowley, for upcoming elections, has again changed just over a handful of incumbents.