The Opposition UNC’s legal team is ensuring that all of its candidates’ documents and status comply with the law for tomorrow’s Nomination Day exercise—and that includes the UNC’s Tunapuna candidate David Nakhid.
In tomorrow’s Nomination Day exercise, candidates must register with the Election and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) Returning Officers in the 41 constituencies to contest the August 10 poll.
They’ll also be paying their $5,000 deposit to contest.
Candidates must meet criteria under the Representation of the People’s Act to qualify.
They must be 18 years and over, a T&T citizen and be resident here for two years before Nomination Day. Those who are ineligible to contest are people who have dual citizenship, are declared bankrupt, are mentally ill under the Mental Health Act, are serving a sentence, or are not qualified to be registered.
UNC sources said there had been concerns recently about Nakhid’s eligibility regarding the aspect of being domiciled here for the required two-year period.
The UNC’s attorneys—including past Parliamentarians – have been vetting documents of all candidates including on Nakhid’s matter.
Yesterday the UNC Campaign Manager Ferose Khan said the legal team was ensuring all prospective candidates’ requirements were met regarding the law.
UNC Tunapuna campaign manager Hamlyn Jailal said Nakhid fulfilled all conditions, and UNC PRO Anita Haynes assured Nakhid will present his nomination papers at 9 am tomorrow at the office of the Returning Officer in Tunapuna.
Haynes also confirmed the party last week changed its Lopinot Bon Air West candidate from Triston Bonterre to Prakash Williams.
She couldn’t give specifics why save to say Bonterre withdrew “for personal reasons”.
She added that all candidates were prospective until confirmed on Nomination Day.
The PNM also had to change its initial Port-of-Spain South candidate Cleopatra Borel—after dual citizenship issues—and replace her with Keith Scotland. The PNM also changed initial D’Abadie/O’Meara candidate Ancil Antoine after he described the US as a “s—hole country” at a campaign office opening.
Lisa Morris-Julian replaced Antoine.
On whether UNC would heed the appeals of some Couva North constituents to change new candidate Ravi Ratiram, Haynes said all candidates are prospective until completion of Nomination Day exercises—but added that she didn’t know if a change was likely.
For tomorrow’s Nomination Day exercise, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar will file her documents at 11 am at the office of the Returning Officer in Siparia.
UNC San Fernando West candidate Sean Sobers will file his at 9 am at the San Fernando West Returning Officer’s location.
Other UNC candidates’ filing time include 9 am for Anita Haynes (Tabaquite), Saddam Hosein (San Juan Barataria), Ahloy Hunt (St Joseph).
UNC’s Jearlean John (La Horquetta Talparo) will file hers at 10 am and Roodal Moonilal (Oropouche East) between 10/11 am
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley will file his papers tomorrow morning in Diego Martin West. PNM PRO Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing said other PNM candidates will file their nomination documents between 9 am and 11 am at the respective Returning Officers’ locations.
So far approximately 13 parties participating in the election have over 133 candidates.
There are also a number of independent candidates contesting. The latest party to announce its line-up was Phillip Alexander’s Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) which has 31 candidates.
The final figures of the number of competing participants will follow after the close of tomorrow’s exercise.