Monday, December 3, 2012

PNM follows UNC, COP; will elect leaders in one-member, one vote system

Congratulations as PNM moves away from archaic delegate system
The opposition People's National Movement (PNM) on Sunday took a page from the constitution of the United National Congress (UNC) and agreed that it would now elect its top officials through a one member, one vote system.

The UNC was the first party to introduce that system in the country and the Caribbean region. The Congress of the People (COP) has also adopted the voting system for its internal election.

The PNM made the change at a special convention. "We are seeking to put our house in order to successfully engage the population," PNM vice-chair Camille Robinson-Regis stated at the special party convention held at the St Augustine Secondary School.

PNM chairman Franlyn Khan predicted that the party would get back into the business of winning elections, starting with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election on January 21, 2013. He said the next victories would be the Local Government election, constitutionally due in July 2012, and the general election in 2015.

The amendments to the PNM constitution takes away the political leader's absolute power in selecting candidates for elections and hands it to a special committee of the party.

With respect to internal elections, the voting would be based on a single vote for each legal member of the party. This replaces the delegate system that the party has used since its birth in 1956. In addition, The Tobago Council would have full control of running its own affairs.

PNM Political leader Keith Rowley admitted that the changes were "frightening" to some members of the party but stated that the changes are to transform the PNM into one where the leaders serve the people instead of being masters.

“For years, the PNM has not reached out as we should. We are now preparing to lay the groundwork to get the national population to join us,” Rowley told his party. "The party is not, and ought not to be, about the adulation of personalities."

In an apparent reference to his own experiences with former PNM leader Patrick Manning, Rowley noted that in the old system if the political leader "doesn’t like you, you have a high hill to climb."

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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