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Mixed views over Manning’s exit

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nominations for People’s National Movement San Fernando East constituency closes today but many party loyalists are sad that the tenure of T&T’s longest serving MP, Patrick Manning, would finally come to an end. However, some of Manning’s supporters said they were in favour of the decision by the PNM executive not to screen any candidate who submits nominations after December 22.

Manning is awaiting the results of a health assessment between December 23 to 31, and wanted the party, to extend the nomination period to January 3, next year, but his request was denied. At the Village Plaza in Pleasantville yesterday, constituents had mixed views as to whether Manning should be given another opportunity to serve.

Jennifer Hosang said: “I think they should have extended the nomination date to Mr Manning because he is the most suitable candidate to serve. He is most appropriate and I think despite his health condition, he can still make a difference.” Matthew Rostant, also of Pleasantville said he was “shocked and saddened” that the PNM executive had treated Manning in such a disdainful manner.

“I feel a sort of disappointment that he will not be contesting and that he may not come back because they will not screen anybody after December 22. Mr Manning is a distinguished gentleman and he will not give up. He wanted to fight the seat. I am sad to see him go.” Other constituents said they wanted a new representative. 

Coconut vendor Errol Thomas said, “I don’t think the executive should make special provisions for Mr Manning. At the end of the day, nominations are closing tomorrow and I don’t think Manning should contest this seat at all. I think it is high time he leaves politics and enjoy his life,” Thomas added. Former PNM San Fernando East constituency public relations officer, Anthony Cook, also expressed personal views on the matter saying he too felt Manning should retire from politics.

“Personally, I don’t think he should go for nominations. He has served the country extremely well and a lot of people have benefited under his stewardship. I want Mr Manning to live his life. Politics is too strenuous at this stage,” Cook said. Daniel Simon, who lives in the San Fernando East constituency, said it will be better if Manning served as a PNM consultant.

“He has a wealth of experience and he should serve as a consultant. I don’t think serving as an MP is good for his health. Give him a VIP consultancy position,” Simon recommended. He also pointed out that Manning failed to show for one of the screening meetings so it was obvious, he could not contest the seat again. Kezlon Cooper of Orchid Gardens said it was time for someone else to get a chance to contest the seat which was held by Manning since 1971. 

Manning unavailable
Manning was unavailable for comment yesterday. His wife, former Education Minister Hazel Manning said she will relay a message to him. PNM’s Public Relations Officer Faris Al-Rawi said party matters were outside of his portfolio. He directed questions to general secretary Ashton Ford. However, he is currently out of the country and was unavailable for comment.


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