Former Congress of the People (COP) member Larry Lalla is being considered for a seat by the United National Congress (UNC), but UNC officials won’t say if it’s St Augustine.
Lalla, a member in the past People’s Partnership (PP) Government, was a temporary senator in 2014. There were reports that he sought nomination papers for the May 2015 general elections. But he never filed a nomination paper.
In December 2015, after the PP lost the elections, Lalla sought the UNC’s deputy leadership post on UNC MP Roodal Moonilal’s Team Loyalist slate. Moonilal sought the leadership from current incumbent Kamla Persad-Bissessar, but she won.
Last month, Lalla was appointed to act as a temporary UNC senator in the Senate during debate on amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act.
Lalla wasn’t available for comment yesterday. However, party officials said he’s certainly likely to be considered for a seat, though they couldn’t confirm whether it was St Augustine, Tunapuna or in Central T&T.
The Augustine seat is expected to be open for contest. Current MP Prakash Ramadhar (COP) has said he hasn’t decided on his direction —whether he’s open to contesting or not.
Yesterday, COP leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said Ramadhar hadn’t approached the COP or attended any COP meetings such as National Council or otherwise.
She said the situation would be addressed in screening exercises. COP is part of the Better United entity comprising several smaller parties, each of which is contesting different areas.
Former UNC minister Vasant Bharath who was once the UNC’s St Augustine MP had been holding meetings in various areas last year. But he said yesterday he will not be participating in elections. He recently completed work with Government’s technocrat team on Recovery Roadmap plans.
Meanwhile, there’s another UNC nominee in Couva North apart from MP Ramona Ramdial. She said yesterday, “I’m confident that I did the work—let’s see what happens.”
In Couva South, officials said a UNC National Executive member has filed nomination papers to seek the seat which incumbent MP Rudy Indarsingh is also seeking to contest.