By Gail Alexander
“IT was rigged.”
That was Tobago East MP Eudine Job-Davis’ reaction yesterday after Local Government Minister Rennie Dumas was approved by PNM’s Tobago Council as the nominee to be recommended for that seat.
Asked whether she would stay with the PNM and support Dumas’ expected candidacy, Job-Davis said: “Don’t ask me that now...”
And speculation that Foreign Affairs Minister Arnold Piggott might replace PNM Diego Martin Central MP Kenneth Valley in that seat for elections rose yesterday in the continued absence of any screening date for Valley.
In the Tobago issue, Job-Davis was screened by PNM’s Tobago Council, along with Dumas and YTEPP’s director June Elder for the Tobago East candidacy.
This took place at PNM’s Scarborough office yesterday afternoon.
It was confirmed that Dumas obtained nominations from 24 party groups. Job-Davis and Elder received one each.
The Council subsequently called in Job-Davis and informed her that Dumas had obtained the majority nomination for the seat.
After yesterday’s process, PNM’s Tobago Council will now recommend Dumas as the Tobago East nominee to PNM’s screening committee, headed by political leader Patrick Manning.
Screening for that seat was expected to be done sometime next week or thereafter, PNM officials said.
Dumas declined comment after yesterday’s development.
However, Job-Davis did not conceal her reaction to the Tobago PNM Council’s decision. She said: “God has his purposes for people. My philosophy is that when one door closes, many others open. My options politically depend on me, so c’est la vie.
"I have work to do, and I will do my work however I can. I knew it was going to happen—they set it up. The process was manipulated against me.
"They put people whom they can control in party groups to get their votes for the nomination process. People called me and told me that they were being told whom to nominate.
"People who had never been seen before were suddenly turning up in party group meetings. It was all obviously rigged.
“But I’m not unhappy. I have no problem with the situation. It shows a lot about the people who are running for election.
“If you can’t trust them in little things, how can you do so with bigger issues. So this is unfortunate for them, not me. I’m not bothered. I’m simply relieved.”
Job-Davis had bidden farewell indirectly—and voiced acceptance of her impending fate—in her recent budget debate contribution.
PNM leader Prime Minister Patrick Manning, on a walkabout in Tobago last month, said the party was doing a poll to test various names for candidacy in the seat.
“I knew it was going to happen— they set it up. The process was manipulated against me. They put people whom they can control in party groups to get their votes for the nomination process.”
—Tobago East MP Eudine Job-Davis speaking yesterday in an interview
Valley: No one called me
Meanwhile, on the simmering Diego Martin Central issue, MP Kenneth Valley said he was still awaiting notification of a date for his screening.
Valley said his constituency was also awaiting a date for expected screening. He was in the dark as well about reports that he was being referred to PNM’s Central Executive/disciplinary committee by the party leader.
“Ask the disciplinary team about the issue, because I’m busy walking the seat that people have said I’m not servicing,” Valley added from his constituency office in the midst of seeing members of the public.
Valley also held a cottage meeting in his constituency last night.
He said there was no animosity between himself and PNM leader Patrick Manning, who heads the screening committee.
PNM PRO Jerry Narace, a member of PNM’s screening team, referred both issues to the screening team chairman and PNM’s general secretary.
Narace could not say when or if Valley would be screened.
New constituency chairman Osbourne Charles—who replaced Dave Sheppard—had no comment.
PNM sources hinted that if the process “moves forward” without Valley, the front-runner for Diego Martin Central may likely be Foreign Affairs Minister Arnold Piggott.
Calls to Piggott’s office—fielded by a secretary—were not returned yesterday. (GA)
Now Hinds out
It’s the end of the line for incumbent Laventille East/Morvant MP Fitzgerald Hinds, as his chances for re-election were nixed last evening after the PNM constituency executive was ordered to get a new candidate to contest the seat for the upcoming general election.
When Hinds was screened at Balisier House, on September 13, he said his fate was in the hands of the screening committee.
What fockin new ? Everything about the PNM is rigged. The entire population including their most ardent fockin assholes know the PNM is a corrupt entity. Yet still these fockers continue to lick the General Council bamcee.
Anyhow I just glad some people inluding Valley getting focked, but the best is my cacaphonious Fitz fockin Gerald Hinds...
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah I could just fockin dead now yes!