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N Touch
Tuesday 19 June 2018
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Letters to the Editor

PNM ready, not the UNC, for by-elections

THE EDITOR: There is a saying that goes “once you stay ready, you never have to get ready.” The election bell has been rung and the United National Congress (UNC) has not screened any candidates for the upcoming local by-elections in Barataria and Belmont.

The People’s National Movement (PNM) has remained steady as it grows, ready to fight elections and represent the people of TT. Consequently, the PNM has screened and selected its candidates, Nicole Young for Belmont East and Kimberly Rae-Ann Small for Barataria, in the by-elections set for July 16.

This readiness has been so since the inception of the PNM 62 years ago. A solid foundation, diverse membership, commitment to due process, discipline, openness to talent, an effective organisational structure, a people-first approach, a national vision and strategic approaches to elections and good governance make the PNM great.

The UNC is in disarray probably due to what many view as a fracturing of its support base.

The initiation of an exodus of the Panday fraction has recently erupted and showed the public some significant elements of disunity.

Mickela Panday and Basdeo Panday recently held a public meeting – notably attended by some UNC stalwarts – and agreed to form a separate political party to fight upcoming elections.

Added to this undesirable situation for the UNC, a main religious supporter of the party, Sat Maharaj of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, came out publicly in condemnation of UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. His viral video shouting “we are freeing up the Hindu votes” will forever be remembered in history as it seeks to confirm many views on voting patterns by political analysts.

It must be noted however that the PNM is the only political party in the history of our country to have fielded candidates to contest every single election held in TT – local elections, general elections, Tobago House of Assembly elections, and by-elections.

The PNM is currently the most stable and most experienced political party in the country. This does not mean that as a party with more than 100,000 members and more than 250,000 loyal supporters it is without its challenges. There are always heated debates at the level of the general council and otherwise but discipline, inclusiveness, structure, adherence to its constitution and solid leadership make it okay to “agree to disagree” at times while working together towards a common goal of good governance.

Political leader and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has led the resurgence and victories of the PNM since 2010 and continues to demonstrate his ability to lead the party to future victories. As it relates to the upcoming by-elections it is clear the PNM is ready and the UNC is not.

RONALD
HUGGINS, social media officer, PNM

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