Friday, December 15, 2017

Questions over Boynes; admits UNC membership

There is a question mark over Ronald Boynes’ eligibility to contest the post of general secretary in the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) internal elections this Sunday, on the basis of his alleged admission that he holds life membership in the United National Congress (UNC). 

Boynes, who is on Pennelope Beckles-Robinson’s team, confirmed on Radio 91.9 last Friday that he was a life member of the UNC.

According to PNM member for  the Toco/Sangre Grande constituency, Learie Watts, Boynes also confirmed he was a lifetime member of the UNC at a cottage meeting in Sangre Grande “recently”.

In a letter dated May 12, addressed to Charles Mitchell, chairman of the PNM Elections Supervisory Committee, Watts said: “I therefore submit that he was automatically expelled from the party (on the basis of his joining the UNC). My information is that Mr Boynes never applied to rejoin the party in accordance with the Constitution ‘Article 22- Discipline’.

“In the circumstances, it is my opinion that Mr Boynes cannot be a valid candidate in the party’s internal elections since he still holds a UNC life membership card,” Watts stated.

He called on the Elections Supervisory Committee to adjudicate in this matter before May 18, the day of the elections.

Mitchell, in a letter dated May 13 to party chairman Frankie Khan, noted the contents of Watts’ letter and stated: “A decision must be taken thereon, as I have been advised by several other persons, (that) Mr Boynes did in fact admit to being a life member of the UNC.

“Please advise whether this matter should be taken to an emergency meeting of the General Council and the evidence required to do so,” Mitchell added. 

Asked about questions of his membership at a news conference earlier in the day, Boynes said, “I am a member. I updated all my dues so there is no question.”

He said he never resigned from the PNM and was a financial member.

“I have done the responsible thing and updated my fees.”

He said he would be happy to show his membership card, signed by general secretary Ashton Ford.