Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Bucchan free to run in San Juan
The Elections and Boundaries Commission has confirmed that Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate San Juan Kerwin Bucchan who is on five gun-related charges, can contest the polls unless convicted. Bucchan, 38, was detained by police on Tuesday in Morvant, allegedly with a Beretta and 12 rounds of ammunition.
He appeared in court on five charges of shooting with intent and possession of fireams and ammunition. Up to yesterday Bucchan remained in jail pending tracing by Interpol. He is contesting a San Juan seat for the ILP. On Wednesday, ILP chairman Robin Montano expressed uncertainty over whether Bucchan would meet EBC rules to contest. But at Thursday’s ILP meeting, party leader Jack Warner said he was backing Bucchan, even though Bucchan was in custody.
Yesterday no one from the ILP executive was available to say how Bucchan might campaign from within police custody and how the party planned to convince people to vote for a candidate in custody. The EBC’s chief elections officer Ramesh Nanan referred to the Municipal Corporations Act 25 (04) which he said allows Bucchan to contest unless convicted.
On the issue of disqualification, the act states that a candidate cannot contest if under death or jail sentences exceeding 12 months imposed by the court. Nanan said “as of now” Bucchan “stands duly nominated.” Meanwhile, Opposition PNM’s candidate for Barrackpore West has dropped out of the local government election race, PNM general secretary Ashton Ford said yesterday.
The candidate, Indar Jairaj, was vying for one of the nine seats of the Penal/Debe corporation in the October 21 local government polls. Southern PNM officials explained Jairaj had dropped out since Tuesdayand had sent a letter to the EBC then, citing “personal difficulties” as the reason for his withdrawal.
EBC returning officer for Barrackpore West Shaheed Mohammed said Jairaj’s withdrawal has narrowed the election race in Barrackpore West to a fight between UNC candidate Premchand Sookoo and the ILP’s Karissa Collins.
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