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Trinidad television presenter fired after becoming opposition senator
Published on December 5, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Marcia Braveboy
Caribbean News Now Senior Correspondent
Twitter: @mbraveboy

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Everyone knew a shakeup was coming to the opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) benches in the Trinidad and Tobago senate. What they did not know was that Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) TV6 presenter Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh was going to be one of the replacement senators.

Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh. Courtesy TV6 News
Baldeo-Chadeesingh did not inform her employers about her decision. Instead, she told TV6’s deputy head of news Sharon Hamilton it was a secret.

Hamilton told the Trinidad Express: “When I asked her if the press release from the PNM was true, she said some things have to remain a secret... until...”

The TV6 weekend television presenter was fired with immediate effect. Hamilton said it was a conflict of interest and so the multimedia news network could not continue to retain the television anchor.

At the opposition PNM news conference on Wednesday, Baldeo-Chadeesingh said at some point in time in your life you become comfortable with yourself and she thought it was time to serve her country, hence her surprise move from the anchor’s desk to the opposition senator’s chair. She said she joined the PNM over a year ago but did not make her allegiance known so that her work in the media would not be perceived as biased. Baldeo-Chadeesingh assured that she remained objective and fair during her time in the media to the end.

Two senior PNM members were axed in the process. Opposition leader Keith Rowley asked President Anthony Carmona to revoke the appointments of longstanding members and attorneys-at-law, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson and Fitzegerald Hinds. They both expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to serve their party in the senate and have both promised undivided support for the PNM going into the 2015 general elections.

Opposition leader Keith Rowley
The statement posted on the Facebook of the opposition leader’s timeline read: “Leader of the Opposition Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley today advised President Anthony Carmona to revoke the senatorial appointments of two PNM senators, namely, Mrs Penelope Beckles-Robinson and Mr Fitzgerald Hinds with effect from 12:00 tonight, Tuesday 3rd December 2013.”

Another longstanding member of the PNM Camile Robinson-Regis replaces Beckles-Robinson as leader of opposition business in the Senate. And breaking with PNM tradition, Avinash Singh, a farmer by profession who failed in his bid to win the Chaguanas West by-election in July has himself secured a place on the opposition bench along with Baldeo-Chadeesingh.

“A vacancy in the Senate already existed through the departure of Mr Terrance Deyalsingh who now sits in the Lower House for the Constituency of St Joseph. As such, His Excellency was also advised by Dr Rowley to appoint Mrs Camille Robinson-Regis, Mr Avinash Singh and Mrs Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh to fill the PNM vacancies in the Upper House. Mrs Robinson-Regis will be Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate,” the statement said.
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