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Pennelope Beckles-Robinson

While People’s National Movement (PNM) Arima nominee Pennelope Beckles-Robinson hasn’t responded to questions on whether she’ll get a flight – and exemption – to return home in time for Arima’s screening on Saturday, sources close to her have said she’s “coming home nevertheless.”

Nominees for Arima, La Brea, Toco Sangre Grande, Lopinot Bon Air West and Mayaro are being screened on Saturday at the PNM’s south office.

There’s no certainty screening will be completed then.

PNM’s general secretary Foster Cummings said on Monday that screening by Zoom or any other technological platform wasn’t being done for overseas nominees.

It appeared to signal Beckles-Robinson may be out of screening since she’s based in New York where she’s T&T’s permanent representative at the United Nations.

Beckles-Robinson was nominated along with Arima MP Anthony Garcia and executive member Dr Hillary Bernard. Garcia obtained the most party group and executive support.

Yesterday, Arima officials couldn’t say what the situation might be regarding Beckles-Robinson and if she might make it in time for screening, but they added there was word that she was coming home “nevertheless.”

They couldn’t say if this was for screening or since T&T’s ambassadors overseas usually return home before an election is held.

Since T&T’s borders are still closed, people entering T&T have to get exemptions to come back and have to be quarantined for two weeks.

Recently, Mayaro’s recommended nominee Antonio Ross who was in the US had to withdraw as he was unable to return due to T&T’s border lockdown.

He had expected to be screened by Zoom, but the Mayaro unit was told, nominees had to present themselves for screening. Mayaro’s sole nominee Bridgette Adams will be screened Saturday.

Meanwhile, the PNM’s La Brea unit has so far received letters of consent from 22 people who want to become nominees. The executive will be meeting with party groups to get their input on nominations and who might be chosen to face PNM’s screening team ahead.

The executive has stood solidly behind former minister Robert Le Hunte over other nominees, but the PNM’s screening team sent the unit back to widen its search twice.

Yesterday, top PNM officials said while there had been delays with some constituency units in getting nominees, “The PNM coalesces quickly. Party machine will run smoothly ahead.”