PORT OF SPAIN – Prime minister Dr Keith Rowley has confirmed that he will be seeking re-election as political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM). He said he has the right to prevent “imps” from entering the executive to ruin the party and on September 30 the party will be called upon under the one-man one-vote system to vote not just for a political leader but for executive members.
Speaking at the party’s family day at the Edinburg 500 grounds, Chaguanas, Dr Rowley reminded PNM supporters that he was the one who led the charge to change from the delegate system to an individual one.
“I am putting you on notice that I intend to put my name forward to lead the PNM into the next term,” he said. “You have the right to vote for whoever you want to lead this party but I have a right to prevent you from electing into the party’s executive imps who will damage this party.”
He added that there are those who criticized the party over the last seven to five years but had maintained their party membership.
“I take careful note of who offered themselves. I will stay silent on some and I will not stay silent on others because I have a responsibility to protect the party.
“There is one particular imp who spent the last four years before the election going to every mosque in this country saying Rowley is against Muslims. You want to run in party office now. . . meet me in Balisier House.
“There is another one who took the position that this skin colour of mine disqualified me from being leader of the PNM,” Rowley said, adding that there are “raggamuffins” within the party.
He said in 2015 he took the position that he would not get involved in the campaign but this time around he will be fielding a full slate.
“There’s nothing worse than going to battle and at the first sound of the enemies’ canon those behind you start to shoot you in the back,” he said.
Dr Rowley also took a dig at the media for what he called “encouraging stupidness”.
He said he had gone to spend a few days in Tobago.
“I maintain a functional house in Tobago on my grandfather’s land. As prime minister I am entitled to 30 days leave a year. I take three of 30 days and go home to Tobago and the next thing I know that is the biggest thing in Trinidad and Tobago because the media in this country has encouraged stupidness,” he said.
“Watson Duke can call up the media and tell the media the prime minister is in Tobago and what is worse the prime minister is in Tobago driving around with his glass down and that is news,” Rowley said.
Focusing on crime, he said the matter will not be politicized as criminals did not care what party card people held.
He also criticized the opposition for “praying for Maxie Cuffie to dead” instead of supporting the La Horquetta/Talparo MP during his time of illness. (T&T Guardian)