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UNC candidate for Cunupia Richard Sukdeo flashes his receipt for $2000 after successfully filing his nomination papers, yesterday.

The battle is on for the seat of Cunupia on the Chaguanas Borough Corporation. Candidates Rasheed “Patos” Ali (PNM) and Richard Sukdeo (UNC) filed their nomination papers on Monday at the office of the Returning Officer at the Southern Main Road, Cunupia.

Ali was the first to file. He was escorted by a small entourage along with tassa music that made the walk from his campaign offices located 100 metres north of the office of the Returning Officer a party-like atmosphere.

After successfully filing, Ali said he plans to put the squeeze on the authorities to deliver to the people.

Ali, a 70-year-old popular businessman from the area, said Cunupia has suffered too long from a lack of infrastructure, bad roads and overgrown lots. Ali said it was high time that the PNM be given the chance to deliver to the people of Cunupia. Ali said he was encouraged by the people of Cunupia to get up and do something. He said the community was not all that well represented by the past MP and Local Government Councilor.

He said, “We will find funds, we will find a way to get things done.” Lennox Rattansingh, the campaign manager for Ali, said Ali has already hit the ground running with a rigid walkabout campaign. Rattansingh said all protocols regarding Covid-19 would be followed.

Sukdeo showed up at the office shortly after 10 am.

He was accompanied by a music truck and supporters.

After filing Sukdeo came out flashing his receipt showing the $2,000 paid to contest the election.

Sukdeo, 65, a retired public servant, said his chances of winning are excellent. He said the UNC has represented the people of Chaguanas well at the local government level.

When asked if he may be eying the available post of Deputy Chaguanas Mayor, he said: “I can’t speak to that, I am here just filing these papers as a councillor.”

Sukdeo said he plans to campaign online and on the streets while observing all Covid-19 protocols. He said the election day machinery was well oiled and he was ready to take the seat home for the UNC. The seat became vacant when Vandana Mohit, the previous councillor gave up the post to contest the seat Chaguanas East seat in the last General Election, which she won.