Rowley: I’ll lead Fyzabad from UNC ‘bondage’
By Richardson Dhalai Thursday, February 6 2014
Comparing himself to the biblical figure of Moses who led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley has promised to deliver the Fyzabad constituency out of the “bondage of the UNC” in the 2015 general elections.
Addressing a large crowd of supporters at the Fyzabad Regional Community Complex, Guapo Road, Fyzabad on Tuesday night, Rowley told party supporters that nominations for the constituency would be invited from qualified nominees following the party’s May 18 internal election.
“I intend to pay personal and particular attention to the return of Fyzabad into the PNM. After 22 years and nothing to show for it, the joyride is over and you are about to experience what Trinidad and Tobago has to offer with respect to national development,” he said. “We will be doing things differently in Fyzabad in preparation for the next general election. I will not wait until the eve of the election to spring a surprise candidate on you. As soon as these internal elections are over I will call for nominations in the constituency of Fyzabad,” Rowley said. “You will have the opportunity to examine all those who will make themselves available and you must thank them and recognise them for their willingness to serve you.”
Rowley then called on supporters to “seriously examine” who is chosen, not only as the candidate but as their political leader and prime minister. Rowley is seeking re-election as party leader in the internal elections and is to face a challenge from former Arima MP and senator Pennelope Beckles-Robinson. “The same year you would vote for the leader of the party and the leader of the country, I want you to seriously examine all those who come forward and choose the best person for the job,” he said.
Rowley also reiterated the criteria for selecting PNM candidates lay in the screening committee and not the political leader. “It is chaired by the political leader, so if they have it in their head that the political leader has no say...if the political leader is chairing the screening committee and he cannot guide the screening committee to the best place for the PNM then he deserves to follow the screening committee because the authority lies in the screening committee.”
Rowley made a pitch for the support of the Fyzabad constituency.
“I genuinely want you, the members, to make that decision as to who should lead us into the general elections. I know if you make that decision we will go forward to the next general election with more confidence and any doubt in anybody’s mind as to whether I am the best person who was selected would evaporate on May 18,” he said.
“There is nothing that will satisfy me more (than) when we go into Parliament with a PNM majority that we would regain the support of the people of Fyzabad. And when you do that there will be a guarantee that Fyzabad will once again enter the corridor of national development,” he added.