Story by SHASTRI BOODAN
Hopeful candidates for the United National Congress (UNC) say they are confident of bringing home victory for the party in this year’s general election.
Things are heating up for the 2020 General Elections, even though the election date has not yet been called.
On Thursday this week, hopeful candidates turned up at the UNC’s headquarters at the Southern Main Road in Couva, to file their nomination papers for the upcoming general elections.
Member of Parliament for Caroni Central, Dr Bhoe Tewarie, is one of the many who filed his papers and paid the $500 application fee.
He told Guardian Media he expects the UNC to win this year’s election.
“The way things are going, the UNC will be the Government of this country,” he predicts. “Especially given the kinds of crises that we have in the country and the pending ones. I think it’s a time for change.”
He adds: “I think if I got the opportunity to serve again, I would serve my constituents even better, because we would have an opportunity to do things in Government.”
And his parliamentary colleague, Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial, said crime and the economy are the ruling PNM’s weakest points for the past five years.
The Couva North MP has highlighted the crime situation in her constituency on multiple occasions.
“Crime in Central has become so unbearable that constituents and people have lost confidence in the protective services,” she says. “With the advent of a new Commissioner of Police, we saw some hope being given, because Commissioner Griffith is very accessible. But at the end of the day, we continue to suffer from an extremely high murder rate, and from serious crime.”
And she states that the PNM will lose, not only because of their record on crime, but also because of how they’ve handled the economy.
“Many businesses in Couva have been forced to shut their doors and to close down,” the Couva North MP reports. “If it’s not because of serious crime affecting them, it’s also about poor sales, a declining economy, or a lack of forex to sustain the businesses.”
She added: “In addition to that, we have a Minister of Finance who has increased taxes over the years. Small businesses have been unable to face the brunt of these taxes, and thus, they’ve been forced to close down.”
Sources close to the party say hundreds of persons already have filed their papers for the 39 seats the UNC plans to contest in Trinidad.
Those still wishing to contest the elections under the UNC’s rising sun symbol have until 4pm today, to file their nomination papers.