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Hedwige Bureaux 

Although Robert Le Hunte has been rejected by the People’s National Movement (PNM) screening committee as the La Brea candidate, former MP Hedwige Bureaux is supporting him, saying he is the best man to bring victory in the upcoming general elections.

Bureaux on Monday called on Prime Minister and PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley to consider forgiveness in order to soften the needs for justice.

“If he (Le Hunte) has done our Prime Minister or political leader a wrong … we must learn to temper justice with mercy,” Bureaux said in a telephone interview, referring to Le Hunte’s resignation from his ministerial post as the possible reason for his rejection as a candidate.

Having served the La Brea constituency for 16 years, Bureaux said he fully endorsed Le Hunte, who has been generating overwhelming support from constituents, executive members and party groups to represent them. Some PNM supporters have threatened to withhold their votes if the party selects someone else and there is now a petition calling on the screening committee to rethink the decision.

As a long-standing PNM member, Bureaux said he has never seen a nominee attract so much attention from constituents.

“He is the best I have seen. I would endorse him 100 per cent,” Bureaux said, describing Le Hunte as genuine, a man for the people and a hard worker.

However, Bureaux said he also believes Le Hunte was not rejected by the screening committee, noting they simply asked the constituency’s executive to look for a wider pool of nominees from which they can now choose their candidate.

Among the names who have filed nomination papers are former Point Fortin mayor Abdon Mason, Dr Germaine Bovell-Pit and Neil Derrick. Le Hunte and incumbent MP Nicole Olivierre were screened last Thursday and rejected.

Le Hunte resigned from Rowley’s Cabinet as public utilities minister late last month but still went ahead with his candidacy bid.

“I have never seen anybody in all my years in the La Brea constituency to whom the people have grown to love, respect and support. I weighed him and I think there are times he is better than me. That…I don’t say lightly,” Bureaux, 81, said.

“I listened to him … whenever he speaks he uses the word ‘we’ and ‘us’… never the word ‘I’. He stands for inclusion. I listened to constituents who say that is the kind of MP they want. I am telling you he is a good candidate. The people want him. Give the people him.”

Constituency executive member Debbie Reid yesterday said if the party sidelines Le Hunte it would be viewed as a “spiteful and vindictive” move because he resigned from the Cabinet on principle and integrity.