Last update: 06-Dec-2013 1:00 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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UNC begins screening for 14 corporations
Despite the Congress of the People (COP) desire to contest all the local government seats in seven corporations, the United National Congress (UNC) yesterday began screening candidates for all 14 corporations. Speaking at the UNC headquarters at Rienzi Complex, Couva, yesterday, Prime Minister and UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the Peoples Partnership must identify 272 candidates.
“In combination with our partners we will identify seats that will be given or contested by our partners and the ones to be contested by the UNC. “However, those negotiations are continuing and our team met with the COP team on Monday evening and they are expected to meet again. “But in the interim we are continuing our screening here. Several people have passed through but at the end with our partners we meet to identify 272 persons.”
Asked about the COP’s proposal to contest all seats in the seven corporations, she said: “The team met and that is still under discussion. We have an open mind and we are still in discussion so I would not want to pronounce on it until those negotiations are complete.” However, she agreed it would be to the PP’s best interest to fight the election as one.
She added: “You can see in certain corporations that if the votes are split then the quota of votes.. even though it would have come to the Partnership as a whole but going to two separate parties... then you will split your quota and you could end up getting less than if you combine votes together.
“For example, if the partnership gets 5,000 votes in all as one body fighting but on the other hand we fought as two parties and got 2,500, 2,500 you see what has happened. Whereas if we go in with that block of 5,000, of course we are going to be in a better position, so, of course, it is something that we are going to consider seriously.”
Asked what corporations it was focussing on, given the Independent Liberal Party’s presence, Persad-Bissessar said: “As always when we go in we try to win all the corporations. On the last we won 11 out of 14. “ “However,” she said, “in a mid-term election expect anything... go brave, let the people speak.” Noting that the Proportional Representation Bill was passed in the Senate yesterday, she said: “The job before the party is not screening for the candidates, it is also to identify at the same time aldermen.”
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