Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PNM will stand alone, but would not discard anyone

The People’s National Movement (PNM) has decided to end its flirtation with coalition politics and is focusing on its traditional principle of standing alone. 

The Express newspaper reported Wednesday that PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley and chairman Franklin Khan have agreed that they will retain the party's style of being a single party. 

That philosophy caused Patrick Manning to lose the government in 1995 and sent Basdeo Panday to Whitehall in a coalition with ANR Robinson.

Rowley courted the union, the Movement for Social Justice and several other groups to build support for last week's Democracy march against Section 34 and to support the PNM's call for the dismissal of two senior cabinet minters. The same coalition was used for an earlier march.

However, having tested the matter, Rowley is ready to return to the founding principles of the PNM. He told the Express , “We are not a party in the ordinary sense of the word, rather we are a convention, a rally, cutting across race, colour, creed, class, uniting for the common good.”
Rowley explained that the party's founder accepting the principle of a coalition but under the umbrella of a single hegemonous movement as stated in the the People’s Charter.

Rowley told the paper Manning's statement that the PNM would win alone, lose alone “was something that evolved out of somebody’s mouth somewhere." He added, "It never formed part of the PNM’s fundamental doctrine.”

The PNM leader said, “I am positioning the PNM to be what the PNM said it was...a convention, a rally for all cutting across race, colour, creed and class. And the single purpose is to unite for the common good...We don’t have to be the same thing on every issue. It says we just have to unite for the common good."

The paper said Rowley pointed out that in the 2001 18-18 tie it was the PNM General Council that authorised Manning to negotiate with Panday. “And the General General told the political leader that whatever he negotiated in those circumstance it will support. A PNM General Council gave the political leader a free hand to go and negotiate,” he said.

Khan insisted that Williams had a vision for the PNM as a coalition of forces representing the national interest. 

“That was clearly stated by Dr Williams. The ‘win-alone, lose-alone’ syndrome that was particularly articulated by Mr Manning, we think the politics has changed significantly to warrant a rethink of that position,” he said.

Khan said the party is "far away" from any formal coalition. However he added that it reserves the right to associate with any person or group whom it feels is operating in the national interest or who shares some of the thinking of the PNM. 

He added that adopting "a monolithic culture" would not stand scrutiny in this modern era." He said, "We are in the process of building national alliances with forces which we feel are compatible with us,” he said.

The Express also reported the views of opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds who stated that the party is prepared to collaborate with other groups and organisations in the interest of a better Trinidad and Tobago. He said the party must reach out and be flexible while holding on to its moral, spiritual and political principles.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai