Rowley retains leadership of PNM

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley has retained leadership of the People's National Movement (PNM), receiving 92 per cent of votes in the party's internal election.

Rowley, the Prime Minister, who has led the party since 2010 after the resignation of former prime minister Patrick Manning, received 8,424 votes.

Former finance minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira, who filed a "breach of contract" claim against PNM general secretary Foster Cummings, seeking to have the poll postponed for 21 days, received 345 votes which accounts for four per cent of total votes, while Junior Barrack, another leadership contender, received 99 votes.

On November 14, Nunez-Tesheira and members of her Team Karen slate – Dr Kenneth Butcher and Bishop Victor Phillip – complained about ten issues which they listed as breaches.

Among those complaints were the decision to change the voting period from one day to three (November 26, November 27 and December 4) which, they argued, was unconstitutional.

However, Justice Devindra Rampersad ruled on November 23 there was no evidence of the potential of an unfair election.

At a news conference announcing the results, at the PNM's Central Regional Office, Chaguanas, on Monday afternoon, chairman of the party’s elections supervisory committee Anthony Roberts said the participation in the election was evidence of how strong the party's democracy was.

"The public will know we had a court challenge from one of our candidates and we survived the challenge, and so it has demonstrated to us in the PNM that we have deepened the democracy of the PNM so that as members you can challenge, you are open to challenge.

"I recall the question when we launched that people were saying other members of the party might be afraid and timid to contest because Dr Rowley is the political leader. You had four people in that race, so you can feel free in the PNM to participate and contest any position.”

Newsday attempted to reach Nunez-Tesheira for comment but was unsuccessful.

Roberts also announced that Port of Spain North/St Ann's West Stuart Young was elected as the new chairman of the party, receiving 8,398 votes.

St Ann's East MP Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly was elected as the new vice chairman with 7,928 votes.

Patricia Alexis was is the new assistant general secretary, receiving 5,607 votes, and government senator Kazim Hosein the new treasurer with 7,537 votes. The new social media officer Kwasi Robinson earned 6,288 votes.

Field officer Terrence Beepath got 7,165 votes, and Maxine Richards, the new welfare officer, got 6901 votes.

Former public relations officer Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing is now the education officer with 7,807 votes.

San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi will now serve as the party's PRO.


"Rowley retains leadership of PNM"

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