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Nomination deadline passes, Patrick Manning calls it a day?

Former PNM leader and Prime Minister Patrick Manning Former PNM leader and Prime Minister Patrick Manning
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, December 23, 2014 – From all indications, Former Peoples National Movement (PNM) leader and Trinidad and Tobago prime minister Patrick Manning will not be entering the nomination process for the San Fernando East constituency that he has represented for the past 43 years.

As PNM nominations closed yesterday, party chairman Franklin Khan reported that three persons had submitted nomination papers and had  met the criteria for screening. They are former prisons officer Christopher Chinapoo, chief executive officer of Wack Radio 90.1 Kenny Phillips, and Eber Steel Achong. 

Khan said the three nominees will be screened early in January.

Manning will not be screened for the constituency that he has long represented on behalf of the PNM.

Accordiing to reports, yesterday Manning attended the funeral of PNM stalwart and long-standing member of the Couva South Women’s League Felicia Charles at her Lisas Gardens home in Couva. 

Manning’s decision not to be nominated came in the face of his stated difficulty with the nomination deadline date. 

On December 5 he wrote to Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley requesting an extension of the deadline for nominations to January 2 because he proposed to make a decision then on whether or not he would accept a nomination.

“I propose to seek the appropriate medical advice, whereupon, a determination can be made as to the state of my health. I am near the completion of arrangements to travel to Cuba for this purpose. In addition, I expect a visit from my Washington-based doctor during the period December 23rd to December 31st, who together with my local medical team will complete the evaluation. 

“I intend to address the constituency on January 2...on my decision to accept or decline a nomination,” Manning stated.

On December 11, Manning’s constituency executive wrote to PNM General Secretary Ashton Ford. No reference was made to any plans to go to Cuba but the executive reiterated that Manning’s medical evaluation was to take place during the period December 23 to December 31. 

However the PNM executive remained adamant that the nomination deadline would be December 22. Rowley gave Manning the undertaking that if he submitted nomination papers by December 22, and by January 2 was still prepared to remain as a nominee, he would be screened at his (Manning’s) convenience sometime in January.

Asked about Manning, chairman Khan said yesterday the “process continues and we will not make a mountain out of a molehill”.

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