Chairman of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Franklin Khan has denied there has been any bullying or attempts at intimidation by anyone within the party.
Speaking with the media at Balisier House, Port of Spain, following the party’s general council meeting yesterday Khan responded to questions about claims made by Pennelope Beckles who is contesting the leadership position of the party in the May 18 internal election.
“Regards intimidation, I take offence to people who are even implying that any part of the PNM machinery be it Dr (Keith) Rowley or anybody else, is party to such activity. I don’t know where those accusations are coming from but it is totally unfounded.
There is absolutely no rift. We are into an election mode and as they say when you come into the gayelle a little bois have to pass but all of that is in the context of an internal election. There is absolutely nothing untoward about it, there is no major rift. People have to account for their stewardship,” Khan said.
Touching on issues discussed at the general council meeting he said a decision had been made to allow all of its 60,000-plus members to vote in the party’s internal election whether or not they were fully paid up.
“We felt that it was imprudent, impractical and unethical for the party to disenfranchise those members, because they did not pay their dues, so in that context general council took the decision that for the purposes of the May 18 election all members of the PNM will be deemed to be financial and in good standing. Whether financial or not, they will be entitled to vote at the May 18 internal elections.”
He said it is a very important decision and it was based on the fact that they wanted mass participation in the election.
“Our preliminary list of voters will be published on April 14 but we estimate somewhere between 60 to 80,000 members,” he said.