PDP shocked by mass resignation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PDP supporters in euphoria after winning the THA elections on the night of December 6, 2021. File photo/David Reid

The mass resignation from the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) of 13 elected members of the THA came as a shock to the PDP executive, the party’s chairman Sean Nedd has said.

Nedd revealed this on Monday as he addressed a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Scarborough.

“The resignations of the PDP assemblymen are shocking, but have been accepted by the executives.”Thirteen PDP THA members, including Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, announced their resignations on December 5.

Nedd said, “The party is in a position where it has to keep fixing itself. This issue was not expected – it shocked us. Those persons were selected in order to do a job, and we expected them to do that job with the party.

“That has stopped. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the party has suddenly fallen –the rest of the party still exists, and it has a large administrative arm that can operate, and is constantly doing so.”

The former PDP members have said they are all now independents.

Nedd commented: “In terms of them being PDP members, they have made their decision to not be PDP members. so in terms of how they operate in the THA, that’s for them to say. We don’t have any further connection with the individuals.”

Commenting in November, party leader Watson Duke called for the Chief Secretary and the assemblymen, who were in office on a PDP ticket and who he said were not fulfilling the PDP’s mandate to get out of his party.

Asked whether any other members of the party had resigned, Nedd said no.

“We didn’t receive any – at least any official resignations –from the other members of the party.”

Nedd said the party stands as a democratic institution.

“It is just the straight-up point. Mr Duke can say, and it is true, he is registered as the owner of the party. That’s formalised in the EBC (Elections and Boundaries Commision). Every party must be registered in the same way – that is a true statement.

“He is also the founder of the party – that is also a true statement. In terms of saying who owns a party as the way in which people are taking it, it is owned by all of the members of the party – that’s the truth of the matter.

“But in terms of the running and the designations and how things happen in the party, the political leader has a huge say-so, and that is ratified in the constitution of the party.”

He said while the party is yet to face the electorate since this new development, it intends to do so eventually.

“On this specific matter, not particularly. The intention is to have a party-wide meeting, but we have a lot of administrative needs to deal with. So as we are handling this, we would eventually have a larger discussion with members…we will be having discussions with key members. and people are understanding in a better way what’s really going on.”