Team Penny is a winning team and it will steal victory at the People’s National Movement (PNM) May 18 election once the process is free and fair, according to aspiring party leader Pennelope Beckles-Robinson.
Beckles-Robinson officially presented members of her slate at Balisier House in Port of Spain yesterday which included former senate president Danny Montano who will be vying for the party’s chairmanship.
But even as she expressed confidence that the PNM membership was ready for change, Beckles-Robinson said her team was not satisfied with the response from the Elections Supervisory Committee (ESC) with respect to their concerns of election irregularities and the absence of a preliminary voters’ list.
Attorney Ronald Boynes who is contesting the post of general secretary was scheduled to meet with the ESC and its chairman Charles Mitchell yesterday to discuss the concerns of Team Penny.
“I believe that this is the winning team, people talk about us being unknown, the truth is this is not the same old, same old, this is not recycling, this is about bringing people with fresh ideas, the PNM needs a breath of fresh air,” said Beckles-Robinson.
“I am proud to lead this team and I am certain that over the next couple weeks as we intensify our campaign and as we continue to go though the length and breath of Trinidad and Tobago that come the 18th, assuming of course that everything is in place for a free, fair and transparent election, that we will be victorious,” she continued.
Beckles-Robinson noted that when she contested the chairmanship of the PNM in its last election, she lost by three votes and seven spoiled ballots to Franklin Khan.
She said a motion was moved to destroy the ballots as soon as the results were announced and there was no recourse. However, she said there is a system in place now where the ballots can be recounted and results challenged.
She said “options’ were available to her team in the event the election was not transparent.
Beckles-Robinson said not only were there concerns about 7,000 on-line applicants being rejected but also persons from various constituencies whose names were not listed following verification exercises.
“I would not be surprised come the 18th of May that there are a number of persons who would show up to vote who would find their names not on the list,” she said.
Beckles-Robinson however said the challenges have made her stronger.
She said she entered the race knowing their would be challenges, adding that since November last year she has been raising concerns over the lack of membership forms.
“As a matter of fact because of the challenges and irregularities I think I am inspired more, it means that our 58 year old party is in need of transformation and modernisation,” she said.
She said her team was not happy that just 24 days before the election they are yet to have a copy of the preliminary voters’ list.
She said that the leadership and the ESC must be reminded that the country, region and the world were looking on at how the PNM was conducting its election.
A release from the PNM ESC stated yesterday that the preliminary voters’ lists with respect to their specific constituencies were distributed to constituency chairmen on April 15.
It added that the full list of all constituencies continues to be available at the ESC office at Balisier House.
The ESC stated that the deadline for submitting queries was now set at April 28.