Fitzgerald Hinds and Keith Rowley
Party insiders accuse political leader and Prime Minister Patrick Manning of attempting to remake both the party and the system of government to perpetuate his own brand of leadership. They contend that the Manning-conducted purge of the new PNM old guard has more to do with a perceived lack of loyalty to the leader than to any popularity contest.
There are claims too of a failed Manning attempt to attack, by proxy, his main political rival in the PNM and MP for Diego Martin West, Dr Keith Rowley. Insiders believe that Manning was part of a conspiracy to take Rowley out on the Landate affair.
Manning last year made a public pronouncement that any PNM-person facing a charge would not be allowed to contest the elections following a media report of a police plan to arrest Rowley.
A top party official said that Manning has never forgiven Rowley for mounting a political challenge to his leadership. Manning once admitted in a press interview to bitter memories of the Rowley challenge. He described it as his darkest political hours. From all accounts, long memories and old grudges hold a leading role in this election.
PNM insiders say it is what led to the shakedown of deputy political leader Ken Valley, Camille Robinson-Regis and others, who are considered allies of Rowley. Robinson-Regis was reportedly asked to stand down after she made a telephone enquiry about the contents of a police statement connected to the Landate probe.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com