Bad weather slows PNM early voting

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello places his ballot in a box at the Pleasantville Secondary School, Pleasantville during early voting for the PNM’s internal election on Sunday. – AYANNA KINSALE

INCLEMENT weather on Sunday continued to slow down voting in the PNM’s internal elections.

While the official election date is December 4, voting began on Saturday and continued on Sunday.

PNM members will also be allowed to vote on December 4, the date of the party’s convention at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.

When Newsday went to the Pleasantville Secondary School around 2 pm on Sunday, election officials said up to 150 people had voted. The school is the polling station for the San Fernando East constituency. Officials estimated that 300 people voted at the school on Saturday.

A man who declined to give his name, said he was not allowing the rains to keep him from voting.

“I’m glad there’s three days to vote. I wanted to vote early and everything went well.”

San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello was among those to vote late on Sunday afternoon.

Voting was also slow at Skiffle Bunch Pan Theatre in San Fernando. This is the venue for the San Fernando West constituency.

In a statement around 5.29 pm on Saturday, PNM general secretary Foster Cummings said the party is “paying close attention to the prevailing weather conditions and the adverse effects that are being experienced across the country.”

Cummings noted reports of flooding, landslides and infrastructural damage, presented in the updates from the Rural Development and Local Government Ministry.

“We encourage our members and all citizens to put their personal safety and that of their families first, and to desist from taking any risks at this time.”

Cummings said the PNM echoes the sentiments of its political leader, the Prime Minister, for people to “look out for one another, and to co-operate with officials as needed.”

The party’s thoughts are with people who suffered damage or inconvenience, as a result of the bad weather.

Cummings said, “Our party stands ready to lend assistance, as needed, to the first responders, and by extension, to those severely affected.”

Polling stations in all 41 constituencies were open from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Cummings said, “Members who are unable to vote this weekend will once again have the opportunity to do so between 8 am and 1 pm on Sunday, December 4, 2022 at the Annual PNM Convention at the Queen’s Park Savannah.”

Cummings is running unopposed for his post.

The Prime Minister is standing for re-election as PNM political leader. Dr Rowley was first elected to this post in 2010.

He is being challenged by former government minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira, Ronald Boynes and Junior Barrack.

Nunez-Tesheira expressed concern about the voting process being used in the internal elections. She wanted voting in the elections to take place on one days instead of three and took legal action to attempt to postpone the election.

Last Wednesday, Justice Devindra Rampersad dismissed an injunction application by Nunez-Tesheira and two members of her slate to postpone the elections because of these concerns. Nunez-Tesheira and her team lost an appeal of that decision on Friday.