Pan Trinbago secretary Richard Forteau said on Tuesday that he and fellow members of the central executive are concerned about defending the organisation’s constitution and not about power grabbing. At a press conference called by him at the VIP Lounge, Queen’s Park Savannah, Forteau said those in the organisation who didn’t want to abide by it will have to suffer the consequences legally.
He alleged that last two meetings chaired by their president Keith Diaz were unconstitutionally held. Referring to several challenges faced by the organisation in the last few years, Forteau said the most recent was an attempt by internal forces looking to grab power by any means. “There are calls for elections, but the constitution is clear on that process.” He read parts of the constitution to support what he was saying. Asked whether his press conference on Tuesday was in keeping with their constitution, since it was called without Diaz’s knowledge, Forteau couldn’t give a direct answer. He was also asked why certain members of the executive are afraid of an early election, but he responded by quoting more sections of the constitution.
Chairman of the Northern Region Gerard Mendez told Newsday: “This press conference is more evidence that the central executive has collapsed in office. The membership has no confidence in the central executive, inclusive of Diaz and the five members here who held this conference. The membership wants them out of office. This is a naked act of desperation of five people who know that the membership wants this election brought forward to deal with the central executive, and they are trying hell hard to stay in office until October.”
It was for this reason and and moreso, the breakdown of management, that a petition was sent to Pan Trinbago on March 29, calling for the holding of an Extraordinary Meeting.
Forteau in the press conference stated that the petition signed by more than 60 per cent of the financial bands, did not really meet the required percentage to call that special meeting on April 17. Forteau said it should have been 179 and not the 120 bands the petition was signed by, since according to Forteau, there are 298 registered bands in Pan Trinbago. Forteau added, given that Pan Trinbago was actually owing bands outstanding fees, it makes all registered bands financial.
However Mendez countered: “We in Pan Trinbago don’t have 298 functional bands. We just came out of a panorama where about 150 bands participated. So literally, after the petition was presented to Mr Diaz, as the constitution says, Mr Diaz has a responsibility to call a meeting within 14 days after the delivery of the petition that has more signatures than is necessary for that meeting.”
Subsequent checks with Pan Trinbago office revealed that 135 bands were registered for 2018 panorama competitions, plus another 20 bands that are financial but don’t take part in competitions. With respect to registered bands, there is no official document to show how many are functional.