Saturday, December 16, 2017

PNM election committee expresses concern

The Elections Supervisory Committee of the People’s National Movement (PNM), tasked to manage the party’s internal elections on May 18, said on Saturday it is yet to receive any formal complaints about the conduct of the elections.

This despite claims to the contrary by “Team Penny” on Friday that it had written to the committee to complain about the management of the elections and the unavailability of the voters list to its candidates.

In a statement on Saturday, the committee said it views with concern the articulation of sentiments in the media which seek to question the management of the party’s processes for internal elections and to cast aspersions on the very integrity of the country’s oldest political party.

“This committee is mandated to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal elections process and to hear and treat with grievances and concerns which may arise in any internal electoral process,” the statement said, adding, “Despite the multitude of press releases and pronouncements, the Election Supervisory Committee, an independent committee which comprises members with no allegiances to any of the slates contesting the election, is yet to receive a single written complaint on the conduct of the elections.”

The committee said it has noted comments appearing in the media and the references in a television news item to a letter purporting to have been written to the committee outlining concerns over the voting list and conduct of the election process.

“No such letter has been received by the committee or by any arm of the party to date. The committee has met all deadlines for the provision of information and an updated list of voters has been available to all constituencies since April 14, 2014, as a prelude to finalising the list of electors which will be available by April 30.”

It added, “What is of greater concern to the committee is a newspaper report published on Friday, April 18, 2014, in which an official of one of the slates contesting the election, and a Member of Parliament, is stated as having provided a list of the party’s membership to a newspaper journalist. This is in violation of the confidentiality with which the party expects applications for membership to be treated.”

The committee said it is appealing to all “members and party officials to be cognizant of the party’s rules and regulations, especially those drawn up for the internal election, and to ensure nothing is done which can do damage to the party’s image and reputation in the conduct of these election.”

The committee is chaired by Charles Mitchell , who the Express has learnt is out of the country. Former Port of Spain mayor Murchison Brown is vice-chairman.