BREAKING: PNM claims victory in Sangre Grande

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 07:45

The People's National Movement (PNM) is declaring victory in the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation on the basis of popular vote and the "spirit of the law".

The party says Terry Rondon will remain as the chairman.

The announcement came at what was called an "emergency" news conference at Balisier House this morning.

PNM chairman, Franklin Khan told the media that when the Municipal Corporations Act was amended in 2013 to allow for the selection of aldermen by proportional representation, the clause that addressed what would happen in the case of a deadlock, was eliminated.

"The PNM's position is as follows," Khan said.

"Seeing that the spirit of the law, with the revision of Municipal Corporations Act was based on proportional representation, it is only a natural corollary in that situation, that the popular vote should have a say in who runs the corporation because that is the spirit in which the legislation was written," he said.

He added: "The second thing is, we have the value of incumbency. The council is dissolved but the chairmen and mayors remain in their position until such time that a new council is sworn in. So as we speak, Terry Rondon is the chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation. So the PNM's position is that it will be irresponsible of us as a party to drop that position of Mr Terry Rondon being the chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation."

He then declared, "This press conference is dedicated to say that we are declaring a victory in the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation based on the fact that we have the popular vote and that we have the incumbency of Mr Terry Rondon. Mr Terry Rondon will continue to function as chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation."

Khan said the law is clear that Rondon remains chairman of the corporation until such time that the council selects a chairman. 

He said the PNM has sought legal advice on the matter, adding that, "while the law is silent on it, based on precedence and spirit of the law we think we are in the right direction".

He said that according to their figures, the PNM won 10,399 votes in Sangre Grande and the UNC 9,959.

Both the UNC and the PNM won 4 districts each in the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation and by the proportional representation system, will both be allotted two aldermen each.