People’s National Movement PRO Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing was among nominees to be screened for the Lopinot-Bon Air West constituency at Queen’s Hall, Port-of-Spain.
Lezama-Lee Sing is a former PNM youth officer (female) in the Patrick Manning administration and a senator. She was the PNM’s Arima candidate in 2010 elections but lost to the COP’s Rodger Samuel.
The constituency executive had initially submitted seven nominees when screening was first done last week. These included onetime MP Alicia Hospedales and former Senator Alisha Romano but the unit was advised to widen its search.
Meanwhile, La Brea party groups are now seeking more nominees after being asked to do so for a second time, and La Brea’s executive expects to have names by next Wednesday.
With this situation, former minister Robert Le Hunte, whom the La Brea’s executive was backing for the candidacy, says he’ll have to have conversations with the executive on his position. Lezama Lee-Sing confirmed yesterday that the party had also asked Toco-Sangre Grande to widen its nominee pool.
La Brea had four nominees who were to have been screened yesterday but this didn’t occur.
For Toco-Sangre Grande, the mandate to widen the nominee pool immediately meant that cricketer Mervyn Dillon, whom the screening team last week selected as Toco’s candidate, was out.
Toco’s executive had offered six nominees including Dillon but after his selection there was a complaint from the area and the screening team reviewed the selection and called for more nominees.
PNM executive officials confirmed that apart from the six nominees the Toco unit presented, Agricultural Society head Dhanoo Sookoo submitted a nomination and was screened but did not make the cut.
Yesterday, Toco officials said, “We’re starting the process according to the directive We’ll come with our nominees next week.”
The La Brea obtained four new nominees on Monday after Le Hunte and incumbent MP Nicole Olivierre were screened last week and weren’t accepted.
With the second search, La Brea executive chairman Wayne Wood said yesterday that to reach screening, a person must be nominated by executive and/or party group, he added.
On what the second “search“ mandate might mean for Le Hunte’s future chances, Wood said, “We’ll meet as an executive and constituency and talk to our members.”
Would the executive adjust its call for Le Hunte?
Wood said, “We’re hoping to find the best candidate to represent La Brea. We’ve been asked to widen the search and we’ll so do. The process requires the engagement of members.
“The search will probably throw up candidates. When the time comes we’ll make assessments and recommendations. By Wednesday we should deliberate and find the candidate that suits La Brea and we’ll make recommendation to the leadership.”
Yesterday, Le Hunte had no comment on the screening team’s call for yet another round of nominees. On what his position would be now, he said he’d have to have conversations with the executive.
On whether he might contest independently, Le Hunte said, “As I said before, I’m not entertaining negative thoughts. I’m a member of the PNM. I won’t do anything to work against the party and my integrity won’t allow me to encourage people not to vote for PNM in the next election or encourage others to withhold votes from the party.”