2779475
PNM candidate for the San Juan/Barataria constituency Jason Williams is seen giving a helping hand at the home of Janet Henry, who is diabetic and wheelchair-bound, during the Helping Hands Initiative at Third Street, Barataria, on Saturday.

Opposition Senator Saddam Hosein believes his time in the Upper House will give him the edge in the race for the San Juan/Barataria seat in the forthcoming general election.

Hosein was named as the man to succeed Dr Fuad Khan, the current MP for the area, by the UNC executive over the weekend and was the most recognisable of five candidates unveiled for the election.

He will face former Road March winner and radio personality Jason Williams for the marginal seat, which Khan only won by 540 votes in 2015.

Williams was confirmed as the People’s National Movement candidate for the area in early May and less than two weeks later was sworn in as a Senator on March 19, following the resignation of Robert Le Hunte.

“It’s going to be an exciting race. I am very glad that the party selected me to be the candidate for the general election for the seat of Barataria/San Juan. I think I have the ability to bring home this marginal seat for the United National Congress,” Hosein told Guardian Media on Sunday.

“The thing is I have shown my ability and my competence in the Parliament to properly prosecute and represent the interest of Trinidad and Tobago, to protect the constitutional rights of Trinidad and Tobago. For the last three years a senator, I would have contributed to over 65 debates in the Parliament. I even piloted my own private motion on crime. That is one of the issues that currently affect the constituency of Barataria/San Juan.”

This, he said, distinguishes himself from his constituency rival despite him (Hosein) also being a young candidate.

“While I have the youth on my side I have the competency and I have the professional ability to properly represent the people of Barataria/San Juan,” said Hosein, who said he had already spoken with Khan following the announcement of his candidacy.

He said Khan, who last week confirmed he would not vying for re-election to the seat, had expressed his support and he was looking forward to working with the outgoing MP to address the needs of the San Juan/Barataria constituency.

Khan had been MP for the area from 1995 to 2007, before losing to Mustapha Abdul Hamid in the 2007 election but regained the seat in 2010 and retained it in 2015.

Hosein’s candidacy was announced alongside former Congress of the People member Flora Singh (Arima), attorney Dinesh Rambally (Chaguanas West), Maurice Hoyte (D’Abadie/O’Meara) and Nabila Greene (Toco/Sangre Grande).

These announcements brought the number of confirmed UNC candidates for the still to be announced general elections to 16.