No postponement of Local Elections, says Trinidad prime minister

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No postponement of Local Elections, says Trinidad prime minister
PNM candidates wait outside the South Regional office, in San Fernando yesterday as the PNM continues its screening process for the upcoming Local Government Elections.
PNM candidates wait outside the South Regional office, in San Fernando yesterday as the PNM continues its screening process for the upcoming Local Government Elections.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Spec­u­la­tion by the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) and the Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice (MSJ) that the Gov­ern­ment will post­pone Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions has been rub­bished by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley.

“I keep hear­ing some of my col­leagues in the Par­lia­ment and else­where talk­ing about post­pon­ing and rig­ging the elec­tion. That is just hot air from peo­ple who have noth­ing else to say,” Row­ley told the me­dia out­side the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) of­fice in San Fer­nan­do yes­ter­day.

He said there was nev­er any in­ten­tion to post­pone the elec­tion. Al­though he did not an­nounce the date for elec­tions, he said the pop­u­la­tion can rest as­sured that it will be held in the ap­pro­pri­ate time frame. He said the cur­rent term ends in No­vem­ber. He, along with Rur­al De­vel­op­ment and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Kaz­im Ho­sein, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert, Works and Trans­port Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan, Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Camille Robin­son-Reg­is and Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon were on hand for the sec­ond day of the PNM’s screen­ing of lo­cal gov­ern­ment can­di­dates.

Yes­ter­day’s screen­ing saw a mix­ture of in­cum­bent coun­cil­lors and per­sons seek­ing pub­lic of­fice in the San Fer­nan­do, Point Fortin and Siparia re­gion­al cor­po­ra­tions. On Sat­ur­day, the par­ty start­ed screen­ing in San­gre Grande.

“This is a process we are ac­cus­tomed to. We al­ways have an ex­am­i­na­tion of our can­di­dates; in­cum­bents and new as­pi­rants. It is usu­al­ly, how should I say, ex­pec­tant per­sons and per­sons in po­si­tions ex­pect to be re­turned. New ones ex­pect to re­place them and where we do have a va­can­cy we fill them.

“This is an in­ter­view as part of the process in the con­sti­tu­tion where we have a screen­ing com­mit­tee made up of per­sons who hold spe­cif­ic of­fices in the con­stituen­cies and the gov­ern­ment to nom­i­nate. That time has now passed and so we can be­gin to screen and try to se­lect the best can­di­dates for the PNM to re­tain our po­si­tion in lo­cal gov­ern­ment and con­tin­ue to con­tribute to na­tion­al de­vel­op­ment.”

But MSJ po­lit­i­cal leader David Ab­du­lah be­lieves the Prime Min­is­ter will give an elec­tion date that will fall af­ter the na­tion­al bud­get is pre­sent­ed in Par­lia­ment. Ab­du­lah be­lieves that the bud­get will be filled with elec­tion good­ies and called on the pop­u­la­tion not to be fooled by this.

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