Charles lauds 'historic' post election meeting

Re-elected PNM chairman Stanford Callender, centre, sits between incumbent PNM Tobago Council political leader Kelvin Charles, left, and leadership candidate Tracy Davidson-Celestine, right, at a press conference on Tuesday at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. PHOTO BY DAVID REID - DAVID REID
Re-elected PNM chairman Stanford Callender, centre, sits between incumbent PNM Tobago Council political leader Kelvin Charles, left, and leadership candidate Tracy Davidson-Celestine, right, at a press conference on Tuesday at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. PHOTO BY DAVID REID - DAVID REID

Incumbent People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council political leader Kelvin Charles has described as "historic," a joint news conference, Tuesday, with the four leadership candidates who competed in Sunday's internal election.

He said the news conference, held at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands, is evidence the party has already started to heal after its gruelling election campaign.

"Today represents, in my estimation, an historic day. This did not happen in 2016, that you had the key candidates for political office appearing at a joint press conference. So, this is historic and what it says very forcefully is that the process of reconciliation has already begun," he told reporters.

Charles said at the end of the day the intention is to ensure internal party solidarity "because the real enemy is not the members of the PNM who competed in this election.

"The real enemy has to do with all those persons who are opposed to the PNM and whose track record indicates that country before party is not their prime motive and intention.

"And for those of us in the PNM, the greatest party not only in TT and the Caribbean but possibly the world, we are about governance, fair governance, equitable governance – governance in respect of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago."

Charles said whether the PNM is in government or opposition, the party has been able to stand the test of time because of its core principles.

"So, our presence here today bears eloquent testament to the fact that we are committed to ensuring that the party comes together after all the competition and the party says to the whole of Trinidad and Tobago: we are here, we are ready to continue the process of governance."

The leadership candidates met on Monday with the Prime Minister at his official residence in Blenheim.

Charles said the fact that four people were competing to lead the PNM is evidence of the talent that exists in the party.

"The fact that we all competed is a clear indication that talent exists in the party and that we understand and recognise the democratic process in the sense that anyone who feels that he or she is capable of running for any office in the party, is free to do so, without acrimony."

Calling for a clean campaign for the runoff, Charles urged members to not submit to the temptation to do or say anything that undermines the credibility of the party.

He added the reconciliation that has begun must not be compromised.

"I urge all of us, as we go into the next round and all the members notwithstanding your preferred support, let's do so with the required dignity and decorum that in fact, makes this party the great party that it is."

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"Charles lauds ‘historic’ post election meeting"

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