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‘Opportunity to present united PNM force’

By Anna Ramdass

Dr Keith Rowley’s victory at the People’s National Movement (PNM) leadership election was no surprise and now he can present the party as a formidable united force to contest the 2015 general election, says political analyst Winford James.

Commenting on Rowley’s landslide victory against Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, James said the PNM membership demonstrated they felt Beckles-Robinson was not yet ready to lead.

“When you look at the breakdown of the votes, the PNM people understand that she is not ready for the demands of office,” said James.

Rowley, he said, should embrace Beckles-Robinson and work with her, adding that this defeat should not spell the end of her political career.

“She did nothing wrong, even Dr Rowley had said that her involvement in the election was good for the party as it re-energised the party ... he should embrace her, reach out  to her and team up because it’s all good for the PNM,” said James.

As for the future of the PNM and what Rowley’s victory signals for the People’s Partnership Government, James said, “I think they (People’s Partnership) are far more afraid of Dr Rowley that they are of Mrs Beckles-Robinson. I don’t think she strikes any fear in the hearts of the current Government and their supporters.”

Rowley, he said, can now prepare for the general election in a more articulate, transparent and attractive way.

James said Rowley has been in the executive of the PNM for a very long time and has served in senior positions.

He noted that even after Rowley had challenged former political leader Patrick Manning for the party’s leadership, he continued to serve at senior level in the PNM.

He said Rowley now has the task of developing a clear programme of change to chart the course of the party’s future progress.

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