PNM supporters assemble at Woodford Square, Port of Spain
Event Date: October 06, 2007
Posted: October 14, 2007
The 2007 election season swung into high gear as the People's National Movement (PNM) presented their candidates to the public at a rally at Woodford Square, Port of Spain. Thousands of red-clad PNM supporters braved the inclement weather waving PNM flags and banners. Large buses brought in supporters from across the country for the election rally themed "we continue to deliver because we continue to care".
As the crowds gathered, large speakers blasted popular Soca songs, chief among them were Preacher's "Patrick, We Stepping Up With You" and the Peter C. Lewis' PNM election song that urged persons to "vote for the PNM".
PNM supporters at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, withstand the heavy rains
The rain eventually came, sending some supporters scrambling for shelter under the large white tents in the square. While some supporters had large umbrellas to shelter from the rain, others were not perturbed by the pouring rain, as they chose to remain in front of the stage waving PNM flags and banners. A group of youths even provided some comic relief as they entertained onlookers with their crazy and comical antics that included running and diving into shallow puddles of water.
Camille Robinson-Regis, in presenting the first group of candidates, declared that the selected group are the finest group of men and women ever assembled by any political party in Trinidad and Tobago. She described all of them as being highly academically qualified with a history of service to their country and their community.
Minister Joan Yuille Williams and Fitzgerald Hinds
As the candidates gathered on stage, rejected PNM candidate Fitzgerald Hinds appeared on stage, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd, getting a thunderous response from the audience. Also appearing on stage was outgoing MP John Rahael and Minister of Tourism Howard Chin Lee.
Outgoing MP for Tunapuna, Eddie Hart, was also on stage and he made every effort possible to let the crowd and the media see his support for his replacement, Esther Le Gendre. Hart wore a red PNM jersey that said "Esther", held a small banner with Esther's picture and when Esther came to the stage he hugged her and held her hand. When her name was announced for Tunapuna he escorted her to the front of the stage and kissed her warmly on her cheeks. When Esther Le Gendre addressed the crowd, she paid tribute to Eddie Hart for the work he has done within the community over the years. She expressed that it was an honor to be chosen for such a great party that has done so much while in office. She said that for the first time in this country's history the party was able to deliver full employment and cut the poverty rate in half while also giving the country the benefit of free tertiary education.
PNM Candidates Colm Imbert and Heeralal Rampertap
The PNM candidates included many new faces. Among these new faces, popular Chutney singer Heeralal Rampertap was announced as the candidate for Tabaquite, UWI lecturer Dr. Raghunath Mahabir for the Oropouche West seat, Gary Hunte for POS North/St. Ann's East while Indra Sinanan Ojah Maharaj will contest the Toco/Sangre Grande seat. In addition, Chairman of the National Aids Coordinating Committee, Dr. Amery Browne, replaced embattled incumbent Ken Valley for the Diego Martin Central seat. Of the candidates there were 32 new faces with 12 of the overall 41 candidates being women. While the crowd cheered all the candidates, the loudest cheers from the crowd were, however, reserved for Keith Rowley, the incumbent MP for Diego Martin West.
Several performances intertwined the presentation of candidates: gospel singer Nicole Baloosingh sang a Christian themed song, Choir Jenue Agape impressed with their offering, while Mavis John, accompanied by young saxophonist Emilia Roach, performed her classic rendition of "God Bless Our Nation".
PNM Political Leader Patrick Manning addresses the audience
Compared to the reaction of the crowd to some of the other PNM candidates, the crowd response to Prime Minister Manning throughout his stay on stage was subdued. In his speech, Manning described the other parties as fumbling and scraping the barrel to put together a team and boasted that the PNM has a winning team, a mixture of new blood and experienced hands, representing the full diversity of our cosmopolitan society. He delved into the accomplishments and plans of the PNM in the areas of education, housing, health, social programmes, infrastructure, culture, sport, national security and the economy. Outlining that economic strength will continue to be the foundation of success, Mr. Manning shared that the PNM is going to start a new wave of industrialization that is going to generate great new wealth, more employment, more progress and prosperity for all. Manning's speech ended with yellow and red confetti being sprayed above the crowd, followed by a burst of fire and election music starting.
Preacher sings his election song 'Patrick, we stepping up with you'
The entertainment continued with 'Preacher' giving a live performance of his election song "Patrick, We Stepping Up With You". UNC turned PNM supporter, Massive Gosine, also appeared on stage to sing "Wave Yuh Balisier" to the cheering audience.
Ken Valley was the main PMN MP missing from the rally - a result of the fallout with the PNM over his rejection as a candidate. Even though he has since warned of the danger of Manning's dictatorial nature, in the latest news reports he has thrown his support behind his replacement for Diego Martin Central, Dr. Amery Browne.
The 41 PNM Candidates are as follows:
1. Arima- Penelope Beckles
2. Arouca/Maloney- Alicia Hospedales
3. Barataria/San Juan- Joseph Ross
4. Caroni Central- Shivanan Narinesingh
5. Caroni East- Harold Ramoutar
6. Chaguanas East- Mustapha Abdul- Hamid
7. Chaguanas West- Frankie Ranjitsingh
8. Couva North- Nal Ramsingh
9. Couva South- Naim Ali
10. Cumuto/Manzanilla- Lennox Sirjusingh
11. D'Abadie/O'Meara- Karen Nunez Tesheira
12. Diego Martin Central- Dr Amery Browne
13. Diego Martin East- Colm Imbert
14. Diego Martin West - Dr. Keith Rowley
15. Fyzabad- Andre Bernard
16. La Brea- Fitzgerald Jeffrey
17.La Horquetta/Talparo- Roger Joseph
18. Laventille East/Morvant- Donna Cox
19. Laventille West- Nileung Hypolite
20. Lopinot/Bon Air- Neil Parsanlal
21. Mayaro- Michelle Mischier Boyd
22. Naparima- Geeta Rampersad
23. Oropouche East- Shafeeq Mohammed
24. Oropouche West- Dr. Raghunath Mahabir
25. Princes Town North- Marlon Mohammed
26. Princes Town South/Tableland- Peter Taylor
27. Point Fortin- Paula Gopee-Scoon
28. Point-a-Pierre - Christine Kangaloo
29. Port of Spain North/St. Ann's West- Gary Hunte
30. Port of Spain South- Marlene McDonald
31. San Fernando East- Patrick Manning
32. San Fernando West- Junia Regrello
33. Siparia- Lutchman Rampersad
34. St. Ann's East- Anthony Roberts
35. St. Augustine- Nadra Nathai-Gyan
36. St. Joseph- Kennedy Swaratsingh
37. Tabaquite- Heeralal Rampertap
38. Tobago East- Rennie Dumas
39. Tobago West- Stanford Calender
40. Toco/Sangre Grande- Indra Sinanan Ojah-Maharaj
41. Tunapuna- Ester Le Gendre
PNM Presentation of Candidates in pictures:
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