(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.