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Trinidad and Tobago

PNM denies Colm ‘buffed’ Garcia

THE PEOPLE’S National Movement (PNM) has denied there was any quarrel between PNM chairman Colm Imbert and Education Minister Anthony Garcia at the General Council meeting this past weekend.

The PNM, in a media release, responded to a May 19 Sunday Express front page story “PNM chairman bouffs Education Minister at General Council meeting.”

The release opened: “There is a clear, fine line that must always be drawn between governments and the political parties that comprise them. On Saturday May 18, 2019, despite being fully aware that the protocol is that only party issues are discussed at press conferences held at Balisier House after the regular monthly PNM General Council meetings, members of the media chose instead to ask the Minister of Education, to hold a press briefing on Ministry of Education matters.

The PNM acquiesced, the release added, on the understanding that the questions would be brief and pertinent. After several questions were fielded, Imbert intervened to remind reporters of the “well-established practice” that the focus of the post-General Council press conference is on PNM and not Government issues.

The release continued: “For the record, there was no ‘buff’ or argument at Balisier House (Saturday) between the chairman and minister or the Public Relations Officer Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing. The alleged quarrels between office holders of the party simply did not occur.”

The PNM said what did occur was an announcement by political leader Dr Rowley of the opening of nominations for five constituencies for the 2020 General Election, namely: St Augustine, Chaguanas East, Pointe-a-Pierre, Barataria and Cumuto/Manzanilla.”

In calling on the Trinidad Express for a correction, the PNM said, “the public, like the PNM, depends on the media for balanced, unbiased, honest and reliable reporting, with adherence to the highest journalistic principles. In this regard, it is our expectation that this story will be corrected.”

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