Phillip Edward Alexander returns as leader of PEP; former deputy questions the move

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Phillip Edward Alexander returns as leader of PEP; former deputy questions the move

Phillip Edward Alexander is back at the helm of the party he formed, the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP).

However, his return as leader of the party is not sitting well with PEP’s former deputy political leader, Limma Mcleod Wilkinson, who is questioning how Alexander was able to reclaim his post more than three months after resigning, without an internal election being held.

Wilkinson, in a GML interview, said there was no transparency in Alexander’s resumption of his portfolio. She further criticised him for failing to host internal elections. “It’s very confusing because as it is right now, an internal election needs to be transparent. You needed to have … like a regular voting situation; you call out all your paid-up members and all your people who are supporters of the PEP who wish to be members, you give them the time to do it. You can’t have an internal election today for today.”

Wilkinson recalled that she, alongside two other deputy political leaders—Marissa Persad and Akil Camps—became the head of the PEP two days after Alexander resigned. She said both Persad and Camps elected her interim leader but the trio’s tenure lasted one month after she alleged that they were blocked from effecting changes within the party.

She alleged that they were not assisted by the chair or research officer to create a constitution or by-laws, and they could not get information on the party’s finances.

This is why she said they shelved political action within the PEP and stepped down from the executive in December.

However, Alexander, in social media post this morning, said:

“When I decided I would step down the executive agreed to place the political authority of the party in the hands of the three deputy political leaders until an internal election could be had. This was agreed to by all until one of the leaders unilaterally decided to make herself the political leader without the benefit of an internal election and the executive refused to support that, so she and they resigned.
This created an environment where the authority of the party remained with the executive as there was a void in the political leadership. As the executive had never formally accepted my resignation the decision was taken to nullify it until an internal election could be had, and I agreed. This happened months ago and would never have been an issue until my announcement of supporting Kamla Persad Bissessar created a political firestorm.
On the issue of the constitution, the party has a policy officer and a team that have been working on crafting a constitution that is long since complete and could have been declared as the constitution, but a decision was taken to get input from the membership and have it ratified.
The opportunity to do so was interrupted by the lockdowns, the general and local elections and the artificial distractions placed on us by nuisance lawsuits, and some things unfortunately had to be placed on the back burner.
The challenges we faced were the same many new organisations face, and is exacerbated by few people to do many things.
The media is well aware of all of this as are any capable analysts familiar with the politics of building any type of volunteer organisation, and it is why the media has never asked Gary or Abdulah, Duke or Hammel Smith who elected them.
I have been elected twice as leader of the party by the membership of that party, and I have willingly given up that power on two occasions.
I am the elected leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party and will remain so until the next internal elections scheduled for 2025, after the general election.”

Alexander said an extraordinary meeting is carded for this coming Saturday, 9th March, “to address many things”, including beginning the process of ratification of the party’s constitution.

He added that all interested paid up members are invited.