Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night wished Pennelope Beckles good luck in the PNM’s leadership election.
“I wish her luck. I wish them all good luck,” said Persad-Bissessar when questioned by the Express on Beckles’ bid to lead the PNM by contesting the party’s internal election on May 18.
Beckles, a former PNM senator, will create history as the first woman in the PNM’s 58-year history to contest the party’s leadership.
She will battle Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley who has been leading the PNM since its defeat by the Persad-Bissessar-led People’s Partnership in 2010.
Persad-Bissessar created history when she was elected the first woman leader of the UNC in 2010 and the first woman Prime Minister of this country in May 2010.
Persad-Bissessar said she did not want to comment further on the internal affairs of the PNM.
With the PNM getting its house in order to contest the general elections next year, the UNC has also hit the ground to get its troops ready.
The Prime Minister attended a ceremony at the La Joya Complex, St Joseph where 15 new UNC party groups were sworn in.
Speaking to reporters earlier, UNC acting chairman Khadijah Ameen said Persad-Bissessar paved the way for female leadership in the country.
“I believe that the prime ministership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar emerging as political leader has paved the way for the country and for people to be more accepting of women in leadership positions,” she said.
Environment Minister Ganga Singh in addressing the ceremony praised Persad-Bissessar’s leadership, expressing confidence that the coalition will be victorious in the 2015 general elections.
Singh, who is the UNC’s caretaker for St Joseph, said the party was strong as it continued to have the support of its stalwarts.
He added that the St Joseph constituency, which was won by the PNM’s Terrence Deyalsingh in the by-election last year will be reclaimed the UNC and by December this year there will be 4,000 activists on board.