EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said she does not subscribe to the view held by some people that government ministers, elected MPs or senators cannot balance their regular duties with leadership responsibilities in the political party they belong too.
She expressed this view on Monday, as she welcomed her new role as a PNM deputy political leader.
The Prime Minister announced the names of the party's four deputy leaders at its general council meeting on January 14, in Port of Spain.
Gadsby-Dolly and Finance Minister Colm Imbert were announced as new PNM deputy leaders for policy and legislative matters, respectively. They replace former government minister Joan Yuille-Williams and National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds as PNM deputy leaders.
Gadsby-Dolly was elected PNM vice-chairman in the PNM's internal elections last December.
Imbert was PNM chairman before those elections and did not stand for re-election.
Energy Minister Stuart Young is the new PNM chairman.
Yuille-Williams and Hinds are now advisers to Dr Rowley, in his capacity as PNM political leader.
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan remains a PNM deputy leader. The fourth PNM deputy leader is PNM Tobago Council leader Ancil Dennis.
Gadsby-Dolly said, "I am honoured that the PNM has reposed confidence in my ability to contribute to its development, as well as the development of the country, at this time."
Does she believe government ministers who are parliamentarians cannot balance their regular duties with leadership roles in the PNM?
Gadsby-Dolly said, "I certainly don't."
She does not see the PNM as any ordinary political party
"It is a living, breathing, complex institution, and its management requires hard work from many party members."
Gadsby-Dolly also believes the changes driven by Rowley as PNM leader since 2010 have contributed to the party's enduring strength to date.
"That party structure and organisation has made the difference between the success of this great political party – which has survived and thrived for 67 good years, and the many others which have sprung into existence on the political landscape over time, and disappeared just as quickly."
She said PNM members who serve the party in different roles are elected or appointed to positions while others have no such positions.
"Maintaining and growing such an organisation involves management of various committees, groups and activities, along with contribution to the party's strategic policy direction."
Gadsby-Dolly identified a strong work ethic, logical thought, organisational skills, team spirit, dedication, commitment, experience, and a double dose of patriotism as key ingredients to the success of organisations like the PNM.
"I have been privileged to serve for the past seven years as an MP and Cabinet minister." Prior to her appointment as education minister in August 2020, Gadsby-Dolly was culture, arts and community development minister. She also served as chairman of the Parliament's joint select committee
Gadsby-Dolly said these and other roles she performed over the last seven years have prepared her to "play a role in party leadership."
Apart from being a politician, MP and government minister, Gadsby-Dolly said she remains grounded as a wife, mother, daughter and friend.
"The support from my family and team is tremendous, and accounts in large part for any achievements credited to me thus far. That support will be even more valuable and critical as I move forward."
Rowley and Hinds were unavailable for comment on the changes to the PNM's deputy leader lineup. Phone calls and messages sent to them went unanswered.
The PNM held a cocktail reception at the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre on Monday to celebrate its 67th anniversary as a party. The party's full leadership team was expected to be presented at the event.