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Opposition Leader: Machinery Already Rolling

UNC general election nomination process to be closed soon

United National Congress (UNC) nominations for the general election are closing soon and while MPs Dinesh Rambally and Rodney Charles aren’t seeking nomination, most other MPs are.

The UNC opened nominations last December.

At the party’s Monday Night Report in Couva, UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said they are working on closing nominations “soon” and beginning screening thereafter since the party doesn’t know when the general election will be and is preparing.

Out of UNC’s 19 MPs, Naparima MP Charles said last year he is not contesting again. There have been very broad hints since last year that Chaguanas West MP Rambally also won’t be contesting.

Yesterday, Rambally said, “I haven’t submitted any nomination. In the near future, I’ll be speaking to this matter. I want to address this directly in the near future.”

Most other MPs have sought nomination forms. Those who have filed include Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran. Mayaro MP Rushton Paray said he’ll be offering himself again but hasn’t dropped his form in yet.

Others who intend to offer their services include Caroni Central MP Arnold Ram, Tabaquite’s Anita Haynes, Moruga MP Michelle Benjamin, Couva North’s Ravi Ratiram, San Juan/Barataria’s Saddam Hosein and Princes Town MP Barry Padarath.

UNC Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee (who has a matter before the court) didn’t reply to queries on if he’s filed a form or would. Others who didn’t reply to calls were St Augustine MP Kadijah Ameen and Chaguanas East Vandana Mohit.

Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe and Cumuto-Manzanilla’s Dr Rai Ragbir were on medical assignments yesterday and unable to speak.

Oropouche MP Dave Tancoo said he hadn’t filed yet.

“It’s a decision I’ll take based on the circumstances at the point when a date for closure of nomination is announced,” he said.

Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh and Oropouche East’s Roodal Moonilal didn’t answer queries but party officials said they expected both “back in the ring”.

UNC Marabella West councillor John Michael Alibocas is filing nomination for PNM-held San Fernando West, which Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi represents.

UNC officials said some “top guns” will be in the running for Sando West— including possibly an alderman—and also for Toco, held by the PNM’s Roger Munroe.

UNC Senators were mum on if they’re seeking nominations. Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial hasn’t yet decided but will give nomination serious consideration, officials said.

Persad-Bissessar said a General Election management team has been working since last year and UNC is quite advanced in organisation and preparations.

“The party’s arms are functioning very efficiently, which can be reflected in our hundreds of public meetings, pressers, and events since 2020; and also reflected in the turnout for our anti-crime talks, with every event drawing registered turnouts of over 1,300 people,” she said during the meeting.

Operation teams have been established in St Joseph, Tunapuna and San Fernando West, as the UNC is targeting the marginals.

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