The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) completed the recount of ballots for the St Joseph constituency yesterday afternoon and counting of election poll cards which was also part of the exercise, was continuing last night towards a conclusion.
The poll card counting was still going on at 7.30 pm.
The information was all confirmed yesterday by EBC Communication manager Bobbie Rogers.
The recount of the St Joseph ballots was one of five recounts the Opposition UNC had requested following last Monday’s general election. The People’s National Movement (PNM) had won the election with 22 seats to the United National Congress’ (UNC’s) 19.
But the UNC sought recounts in San Fernando West, La Horquetta Talparo, Toco Sangre Grande, Tunapuna and St Joseph.
The Progressive Democratic Patriots’ (PDP’s) Watson Duke also sought a recount in Tobago East but conceded before the recount concluded.
The PNM remained the winner after the recounts in San Fernando West, Toco Sangre Grande, La Horquetta/Talparo and Tunapuna.
The St Joseph recount had been ongoing since last weekend. That had involved addressing queries which the UNC had on ballots. It concluded by mid-afternoon yesterday.
The count of poll cards involved 26 boxes of polls cards which the UNC also wanted counted.
The EBC is expected to give a statement on the result for the ballot counting when poll card recount is completed and the entire exercise is concluded.
PNM St Joseph campaign officials yesterday expressed confidence the PNM had won.
Meanwhile, the PNM party was holding the line awaiting recount completion and has been planning for the swearing-in of the Prime Minister and Attorney General for the next term.
PNM officials said that would be done right after the recount is over.
Apart from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who will take the oath of office, current Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is expected to be sworn in also, to continue, they added.
They couldn’t confirm claims that Port-of-Spain South MP-elect Keith Scotland—an attorney— might be appointed AG.
They noted he has a law practice and may need to tie up matters in hand before assuming a post.
They hinted the Cabinet will likely remain the same 22-member size plus Rowley.
PNM sources projected National Security Minister Stuart Young will continue in that position.
Also tipped to continue is Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh who’s headed that ministry during T&T’s COVID-19 experience.
Colm Imbert is tipped to continue in Finance—or be shifted to Energy—and Rohan Sinanan in Works, sources added.
Arima MP-elect Penny Beckles is tipped for Foreign Affairs.
New faces are expected in Trade (a well-known business figure), Education (St Ann’s East MP-elect Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly), Public Utilities, Planning, Local Government, Sport.
Several parliamentary secretaries are expected to be appointed including San Fernando East MP-elect Brian Manning and Diego Martin Central MP-elect Symon de Nobrega.
The latter is one of three PNM MPs-elect who came from heading regional corporations. Others are Lisa Morris-Julien (D’Abadie O’Meara) and Kennedy Richards (Point Fortin).
A number of PNM supporters who had a strong showing during the campaign— Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing, Renula Sagramsingh-Sooklal and others—are tipped for the Senate, sources added.