Newsday sources close to the People’s National Movement (PNM) said the discussions were centred around May 17, 2010 as a tentative date for general elections. May 24 has been bandied around by others as another possible date.
The closed door meeting which was attended by high ranking PNMites including MPs and members of the National Executive and deputy political leader Nafeesa Mohammed, took up most of the morning session and was wrapped up at about noon.
When contacted party’s Public Relations Manager, Jerry Narace, referred Sunday Newsday to the party’s Chairman Conrad Enill who immediately responded, “you are telling me something I know nothing of.”
When pressed again about reports of a closed door meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence he responded, “I have no information on any such meeting.” Calls to General Secretary of the party Martin Joseph and all other MPs went unanswered.
Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley told Newsday he was not invited to the meeting and was spending the weekend with his family in Toco. He said his constituency executives were not informed of the meeting either.
However in an immediate reaction to the PNM’s closed door meeting, Political Leader of the United National Congress(UNC) Kamla Persad-Bissessar, handed down emergency instructions to the party’s General Secretary Glen Ramadharsingh, to instruct all constituency executives to nominate candidates for the expected elections.
Persad-Bissessar also set a deadline for nominations by April 12 and the commencement of screening as April 13.
According to the Opposition Leader the screening process will in no way compromise the unity talks with the Congress of the People(COP).
Speaking to Newsday Ramadharsingh said he was also asked to immediately activate the UNC’s national campaign team and submit a report to the party’s National Executive in 72 hours.
In addition, in a release Persad-Bissessar said immediately upon her return on Monday she will be stepping up talks with all other political parties to ensure there are no three way fights against the PNM.
Ramadharsingh said, “we are at the moment extremely busy, we did not expect this but we are off now full throttle to elections...no stopping.”
Acting political leader of the UNC Suruj Rambachan said they have also heard about a possible May 17 elections and have started immediately putting the party in a state of readiness.